Investigation into submicrometer particle and gaseous emissions from airport ground running procedures

Mazaheri, Mandana (2009) Investigation into submicrometer particle and gaseous emissions from airport ground running procedures. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.


Emissions from airport operations are of significant concern because of their potential impact on local air quality and human health. The currently limited scientific knowledge of aircraft emissions is an important issue worldwide, when considering air pollution associated with airport operation, and this is especially so for ultrafine particles. This limited knowledge is due to scientific complexities associated with measuring aircraft emissions during normal operations on the ground. In particular this type of research has required the development of novel sampling techniques which must take into account aircraft plume dispersion and dilution as well as the various particle dynamics that can affect the measurements of the aircraft engine plume from an operational aircraft.

In order to address this scientific problem, a novel mobile emission measurement method called the Plume Capture and Analysis System (PCAS), was developed and tested. The PCAS permits the capture and analysis of aircraft exhaust during ground level operations including landing, taxiing, takeoff and idle. The PCAS uses a sampling bag to temporarily store a sample, providing sufficient time to utilize sensitive but slow instrumental techniques to be employed to measure gas and particle emissions simultaneously and to record detailed particle size distributions. The challenges in relation to the development of the technique include complexities associated with the assessment of the various particle loss and deposition mechanisms which are active during storage in the PCAS. Laboratory based assessment of the method showed that the bag sampling technique can be used to accurately measure particle emissions (e.g. particle number, mass and size distribution) from a moving aircraft or vehicle.

Further assessment of the sensitivity of PCAS results to distance from the source and plume concentration was conducted in the airfield with taxiing aircraft. The results showed that the PCAS is a robust method capable of capturing the plume in only 10 seconds. The PCAS is able to account for aircraft plume dispersion and dilution at distances of 60 to 180 meters downwind of moving a aircraft along with particle deposition loss mechanisms during the measurements. Characterization of the plume in terms of particle number, mass (PM2.5), gaseous emissions and particle size distribution takes only 5 minutes allowing large numbers of tests to be completed in a short time. The results were broadly consistent and compared well with the available data.

Comprehensive measurements and analyses of the aircraft plumes during various modes of the landing and takeoff (LTO) cycle (e.g. idle, taxi, landing and takeoff) were conducted at Brisbane Airport (BNE). Gaseous (NOx, CO2) emission factors, particle number and mass (PM2.5) emission factors and size distributions were determined for a range of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, as a function of aircraft type and engine thrust level. The scientific complexities including the analysis of the often multimodal particle size distributions to describe the contributions of different particle source processes during the various stages of aircraft operation were addressed through comprehensive data analysis and interpretation.

The measurement results were used to develop an inventory of aircraft emissions at BNE, including all modes of the aircraft LTO cycle and ground running procedures (GRP). Measurements of the actual duration of aircraft activity in each mode of operation (time-in-mode) and compiling a comprehensive matrix of gas and particle emission rates as a function of aircraft type and engine thrust level for real world situations was crucial for developing the inventory. The significance of the resulting matrix of emission rates in this study lies in the estimate it provides of the annual particle emissions due to aircraft operations, especially in terms of particle number.

In summary, this PhD thesis presents for the first time a comprehensive study of the particle and NOx emission factors and rates along with the particle size distributions from aircraft operations and provides a basis for estimating such emissions at other airports. This is a significant addition to the scientific knowledge in terms of particle emissions from aircraft operations, since the standard particle number emissions rates are not currently available for aircraft activities.

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ID Code: 29183
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Morawska, Lidia, Johnson, Graham, Ristovski, Zoran, & Clarke, Helen
Keywords: Aircraft Engine Exhaust, bag sampling technique, Plume Capture Device (PCD), Plume Capture and Analysis System (PCAS), emission factors, ultrafine particles, particle number emission, particle size distributions, nucleation, coagulation, particle mass (PM2.5) emissions, gaseous emissions, aircraft landing and takeoff (LTO) cycle, aircraft engine ground running procedure (GRP), Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), Brisbane Airport (BNE), annual emissions, airport emissions inventory
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > School of Physical & Chemical Sciences
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2009 05:10
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:54

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