Quantification and physical analysis of nanoparticle emissions from a marine engine using different fuels and a laboratory wet scrubber†
A marine test-bed diesel engine was used to study how international fuel sulfur content (FSC) regulations and wet scrubbing can affect physical properties of submicron exhaust particles. Particle size distributions, particle number and mass emission factors as well as effective densities of particulate emissions were measured for three distillate fuels of varying FSC and a laboratory wet scrubber. While particle number concentrations were reduced by up to 9% when switching to low FSC fuels, wet scrubbing led to increased ultrafine particulate emissions (<30 nm). Exhaust processed through the scrubber was also found to have particles with greater effective densities, a result that directly contradicts the particulate characteristics of low FSC fuel emissions. The results demonstrate that alternative pathways to comply with marine FSC regulations can have opposing effects and thus may have very different implications for important atmospheric processes. The relevance for air quality, and the potential implications for cloud and climate interactions are discussed.