Evaluating in-use vehicle emissions using air quality monitoring stations and on-road remote sensing systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Air pollution, Real driving emissions, Remote sensing, Tailpipe, roadside and ambient, Vehicle emission control programmes




© 2020 Elsevier B.V. This study investigated real world in-use vehicle emissions using two regulatory techniques simultaneously, namely on-road remote sensing (RS) systems and air quality (AQ) monitoring stations, aiming to provide a full pollution profile from tailpipe to roadside and atmosphere. Two large AQ and RS datasets collected during 2012–2018 were analyzed. The effects of various emission control programmes on the trends of tailpipe emissions and air quality were evaluated. Correlations between tailpipe emissions and roadside and ambient air quality were also explored. The results showed a decreasing trend of NO2 at both roadside and ambient AQ stations from 2013 to 2016, which was attributed to the intensive implementation of a series of vehicle emissions control programmes. Although NO2 was decreasing, O3 was generally increasing for all AQ stations. AQ data showed that O3 had little correlation with either NO2 or NOx, but was mainly determined by NO2/NOx ratio. Roadside NO2/NOx ratio increased first and then decreased or stabilized after 2014, while ambient NO2/NOx ratio increased steadily. RS data showed that the overall NO decreased quickly during 2012–2015 and then decreased moderately after 2015. The decrease was mainly attributed to the effective NO reduction from LPG vehicles. However, diesel NO remained high and reduced relatively slowly during the study period. Gasoline vehicles were relatively clean compared with LPG and diesel vehicles. Finally, good correlations were demonstrated between NO measured by RS sites and NOx measured by roadside AQ stations, indicating that vehicle emissions were the major contributor to roadside NOx pollution. Ambient NOx emissions could be affected by various sources, leading to different correlation levels between RS and ambient AQ results.

Source Publication

Science of the Total Environment

Volume Number




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