Characterization of particles from a marine engine operating at low loads
Journal article, 2015

Particle emissions from a marine diesel engine operating at low loads with four different fuels were characterized with respect to particle number (PN) and particle mass (PM), size distribution, volatility and chemical composition. The four different fuels used were Swedish Environmental class 1 (MK1) and class 3 diesel (MK3), heavy fuel oil (HFO, 0.12 wt% S) and marine diesel oil (MDO, 0.52 wt% S). The measurements were performed for a marine diesel engine in a test-bed engine lab and the particle emissions were measured with an Engine Exhaust Particle Sizer and a Dust Monitor, giving the number concentrations in the size range of 5.6-560 nm and 300 nm to 20 gm, respectively. To quantify the amount of solid particles a thermodenuder was used. Additionally, filter samples were taken for gravimetric, black carbon (BC) and elemental analysis. The particle emissions showed a bimodal size distribution by number and the number concentrations were dominated by nanoparticles (diameter (Dp) < 50 nm). The nanoparticles measured were both primary and secondary particles, depending on fuel and engine load, while the particles with Dp > 50 nm generally were solid primary particles. Combustion of HFO resulted in the highest PN and PM concentrations. Emission factors (EFs) for PM and PN for both the total particle emissions and the fraction of primary, solid particles are presented for different fuels and loads. EFs for nitrogen oxides (NOx), BC and some elements (Ca, Fe, V, Ni, Zn) are presented as well. This study contributes to understanding particle emissions from potential future fuels as well as emissions in ports and coastal areas where lower engine loads are common.

Marine fuel

Low engine load

Emission factor

Ship emission


Black carbon


Maria Anderson

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Maritime Environmental Sciences

Kent Salo

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Maritime Environmental Sciences

A. M. Hallquist

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

Erik Fridell

Chalmers, Shipping and Marine Technology, Maritime Environmental Sciences

Atmospheric Environment

1352-2310 (ISSN)

Vol. 101 65-71

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Marine Engineering

Environmental Sciences



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