Influence on the oxidative potential of a heavy-duty engine particle emission due to selective catalytic reduction system and biodiesel blend
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Although the particulate matter (PM) emissions from biodiesel fuelled engines are acknowledged to be lower than those of fossil diesel, there is a concern on the impact of PM produced by biodiesel to human health. As the oxidative potential of PM has been suggested as trigger for adverse health effects, it was measured using the Electron Spin Resonance (OPESR) technique. Additionally, Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (EDXRF) was employed to determine elemental concentration, and Raman Spectroscopy was used to describe the amorphous carbon character of the soot collected on exhaust PM from biodiesel blends fuelled test-bed engine, with and without Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). OPESR results showed higher oxidative potential per kWh of PM produced from a blend of 20% soybean biodiesel and 80% ULSD (B20) engine compared with a blend of 5% soybean biodiesel and 95% ULSD (B5), whereas the SCR was able to reduce oxidative potential for each fuel. EDXRF data indicates a correlation of 0.99 between concentration of copper and oxidative potential. Raman Spectroscopy centered on the expected carbon peaks between 1100 cm-1 and 1600 cm-1 indicate lower molecular disorder for the B20 particulate matter, an indicative of a more graphitic carbon structure. The analytical techniques used in this study highlight the link between biodiesel engine exhaust and increased oxidative potential relative to biodiesel addition on fossil diesel combustion. The EDXRF analysis confirmed the prominent role of metals on free radical production. As a whole, these results suggest that 20% of biodiesel blends run without SCR may pose an increased health risk due to an increase in OH radical generation.