Variability of Particle Number Emissions from Diesel and Hybrid Diesel−Electric Buses in Real Driving Conditions

A linear mixed model was developed to quantify the variability of particle number emissions from transit buses tested in real-world driving conditions. Two conventional diesel buses and two hybrid diesel−electric buses were tested throughout 2004 under different aftertreatments, fuels, drivers, and bus routes. The mixed model controlled the confounding influence of factors inherent to on-board testing. Statistical tests showed that particle number emissions varied significantly according to the aftertreatment, bus route, driver, bus type, and daily temperature, with only minor variability attributable to differences between fuel types. The daily setup and operation of the sampling equipment (electrical low pressure impactor) and mini-dilution system contributed to 30−84% of the total random variability of particle measurements among tests with diesel oxidation catalysts. By controlling for the sampling day variability, the model better defined the differences in particle emissions among bus routes. In contrast, the low particle number emissions measured with diesel particle filters (decreased by over 99%) did not vary according to operating conditions or bus type but did vary substantially with ambient temperature.