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Evaluation of the Relationship between Momentum Wakes behind Moving Vehicles and Dispersion of Vehicle Emissions Using Near-Roadway Measurements

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2020 by Yu Ting Yu, Sheng Xiang, Kenneth E. Noll
A parameterization of initial vertical dispersion coefficient (σz,init) was developed for incorporation into California line source dispersion model, version 4 (CALINE4) and AMS/EPA regulatory model (AERMOD) to better predict pollutant concentrations near roadways. The momentum wake theory of moving vehicles indicates that both vehicle-induced turbulence (VIT) and dispersion occur in the vehicle wake. Based on a literature review, it is postulated that σz,init near roadways can be estimated using a “wake area model” concept of effective wake area defined as the vehicle height times the wake length, vehicle density, and vehicle type. A total of 523 5-min near-roadway simultaneous measurements (2016–2018) of pollutant concentrations and meteorological and traffic information were used to evaluate the model. Two roadways with distinct fleet composition and simple road configurations were selected for monitoring. The near-roadway σz,init ranged from 1 to 4 m for light-duty vehicles (LDVs) and from 3 to 7 m for fleet-mix (LDVs and heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs)). The results demonstrate that the dispersion contribution from one HDV was 31 times larger than that from one LDV. Calculated pollutant dispersion using the wake area model compared favorably with measurements (R2 = 0.91, slope = 1.07). These results indicate that σz,init varies with vehicle density and HDVs. Pollutant dispersion related to the vehicle wakes can be used to correctly parameterize dispersion models and improve prediction of pollutant concentrations near roadways.