Application of positive matrix factorization to on-road measurements for source apportionment of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicle emissions in Mexico City


The goal of this research is to quantify diesel- and gasoline-powered motor vehicle emissions within the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) using on-road measurements captured by a mobile laboratory combined with positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor modeling. During the MCMA-2006 ground-based component of the MILAGRO field campaign, the Aerodyne Mobile Laboratory (AML) measured many gaseous and particulate pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), benzene, toluene, alkylated aromatics, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, ammonia, particle number, fine particulate mass (PM2.5), and black carbon (BC). These serve as inputs to the receptor model, which is able to resolve three factors corresponding to gasoline engine exhaust, diesel engine exhaust, and the urban background. Using the source profiles, we calculate fuel-based emission factors for each type of exhaust. The MCMA's gasoline-powered vehicles are considerably dirtier, on average, than those in the US with respect to CO and aldehydes. Its diesel-powered vehicles have similar emission factors of NOx and higher emission factors of aldehydes, particle number, and BC. In the fleet sampled during AML driving, gasoline-powered vehicles are found to be responsible for 97% of total vehicular emissions of CO, 22% of NOx, 95-97% of each aromatic species, 72-85% of each carbonyl species, 74% of ammonia, negligible amounts of particle number, 26% of PM2.5, and 2% of BC; diesel-powered vehicles account for the balance. Because the mobile lab spent 17% of its time waiting at stoplights, the results may overemphasize idling conditions, possibly resulting in an underestimate of NOx and overestimate of CO emissions. On the other hand, estimates of the inventory that do not correctly account for emissions during idling are likely to produce bias in the opposite direction.The resulting fuel-based estimates of emissions are lower than in the official inventory for CO and NOx and higher for VOCs. For NOx, the fuel-based estimates are lower for gasoline-powered vehicles but higher for diesel-powered ones compared to the official inventory. While conclusions regarding the inventory should be interpreted with care because of the small sample size, 3.5 h of driving, the discrepancies with the official inventory agree with those reported in other studies.



Heavy-duty diesel, Real-time measurements, Polycyclic, Aromatic-hydrocarbons, Volatile organic compounds, Nitrogen oxides, Emissions, Metropolitan areas, Particulate matter, Mass-spectrometry, Black carbon, Exhaust emissions, Meteorology & atmospheric sciences


Thornhill, D. A., Williams, A. E., Onasch, T. B., Wood, E., Herndon, S. C., Kolb, C. E., Knighton, W. B., Zavala, M., Molina, L. T., and Marr, L. C.: Application of positive matrix factorization to on-road measurements for source apportionment of diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicle emissions in Mexico City, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3629-3644, doi:10.5194/acp-10-3629-2010, 2010.