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Particle and Gaseous Emissions from Commercial Aircraft at Each Stage of the Landing and Takeoff Cycle

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journal contribution
posted on 15.01.2009 by M. Mazaheri, G. R. Johnson, L. Morawska
A novel technique was used to measure emission factors for commonly used commercial aircraft including a range of Boeing and Airbus airframes under real world conditions. Engine exhaust emission factors for particles in terms of particle number and mass (PM2.5), along with those for CO2 and NOx, were measured for over 280 individual aircraft during the various modes of landing/takeoff (LTO) cycle. Results from this study show that particle number, and NOx emission factors are dependent on aircraft engine thrust level. Minimum and maximum emissions factors for particle number, PM2.5, and NOx emissions were found to be in the range of 4.16 × 1015−5.42 × 1016 kg−1, 0.03−0.72−1, and 3.25−37.94−1, respectively, for all measured airframes and LTO cycle modes. Number size distributions of emitted particles for the naturally diluted aircraft plumes in each mode of LTO cycle showed that particles were predominantly in the range of 4−100 nm in diameter in all cases. In general, size distributions exhibit similar modality during all phases of the LTO cycle. A very distinct nucleation mode was observed in all particle size distributions, except for taxiing and landing of A320 aircraft. Accumulation modes were also observed in all particle size distributions. Analysis of aircraft engine emissions during LTO cycle showed that aircraft thrust level is considerably higher during taxiing than idling suggesting that International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards need to be modified as the thrust levels for taxi and idle are considered to be the same (7% of total thrust) (Environmental Protection, Annex 16, Vol. II, Aircraft Engine Emissions, 2nd ed.; ICAOInternational Civil Aviation Organization: Montreal, 1993).