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Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series - Abstract

Nagui M. Rouphail, PhD.

Director, Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE)
Professor of Civil Engineering
North Carolina State University

Title: Measuring and Modeling Vehicle Emissions: Methodology and Applications

The Transportation sector in general and on-road vehicles in particular are major contributors to the National Emissions Inventory and responsible for about 27 percent of all US Greenhouse gas emissions. For example, in 2006 national on-road vehicles emitted 54,100 thousand short tons carbon monoxide (CO), 6,600 thousand short tons nitrogen oxides (NOx), and 3,850 thousand short tons volatile organic compounds (VOC). Highway vehicles contributed about 54 percent of CO, 36 percent of NOx and 22 percent of VOC emissions in the U.S. national emission inventory. Further, vehicles were the largest contributors for national CO and NOx emissions and the second largest for VOC emissions.

This presentation will describe an ongoing research program at NC State University in the area of vehicle emissions and fuel use, which focuses on measuring and modeling vehicle emissions under real-world field settings using portable emission measurement systems (PEMS). Several applications are highlighted including the use of direct PEMS measurements for testing the effect of improved signalization, the development of modal emission models at fine and coarse scales based on micro-scale trip data and the relation between macro trip descriptors such as average travel speed and emissions.

Finally, we present findings from the application of the method for developing emission inventories which encompasses a variety of vehicle classes, fuels and propulsion technologies. A key finding is that many of the benefits derived from the use of low emission vehicle technologies, assuming a 27% market penetration (as estimated by EIA) can be quickly consumed by moderate increases in VMT.

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