Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Air Pollution Study Clears the Air on Diesel Versus Gas Emissions

Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Bookmark and Share
Diesel exhaust contributes 15 times more than gas emissions per liter of fuel burned, new study reports.

Are gasoline-fueled cars or large diesel trucks the bigger source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA), a major component of smog? UC Berkeley researchers have stepped into this debate with a new study that says diesel exhaust contributes 15 times more than gas emissions per liter of fuel burned.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, elucidates the contributions to air pollution from the two types of fuel emissions.

The authors estimate that diesel exhaust is responsible for 65-90 percent of a region’s vehicular-derived SOA, depending upon the relative amounts of gasoline and diesel used in the area.

For example, the researchers noted that in the San Francisco Bay Area, about 10 times more gas is used compared with diesel.

SOA contributes to respiratory problems and poor air quality, so pinpointing the major sources of the pollutant is important in evaluating current and future policies to reduce smog in the state.

The new findings contradict previous research that put the blame on gasoline-fueled vehicles as the predominant source of precursors that form secondary organic aerosol.

“We can now say that, while both motor vehicle sources are important for these ‘secondary’ particles, diesel is responsible for a larger portion, especially in regions such as the San Joaquin Valley with a lot of diesel use,” said study principal investigator and professor Allen Goldstein, who has joint appointments in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

For this study, Goldstein, who also is a faculty chemist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, teamed up with Robert Harley, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and an expert on vehicle emissions and air quality.

The findings stand out because the researchers were able to tease out the chemical composition of fuel emissions.

“The data from our study contains the most comprehensive chemical detail to date on diesel and gasoline emissions,” said study lead author Drew Gentner, a recent UC Berkeley Ph.D. graduate in civil and environmental engineering.

Gentner continued, “This presents many opportunities to assess the chemistry of these compounds in the atmosphere and the impacts of these sources. We expect that these findings will help policymakers improve air pollution control measures in the state, and also other parts of the world.”

The California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency helped support this research.

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Genome Engineering Paves Way For Sickle Cell Cure
Researchers from UC Berkeley have used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to fix the mutated gene responsible for sickle cell disease.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Two New Carcinogens Found in E-cig Vapor
Berkeley Lab study identifies two additional carcinogens not previously reported in e-cigarette vapor.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Cancer-causing Chemical in Drinking Water Traced to Fire-Fighting Foam
Fire-fighting foam containing highly fluorinated chemicals is contaminating drinking water supplies around many of the nation’s military bases, airports and industrial sites.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Target Is Found
Researchers at UC Berkeley discover a target that drives cancer metabolism in triple-negative breast cancer.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Do Gut Microbes Shape Our Evolution?
Scientists increasingly realize the importance of gut and other microbes to our health and well-being, but one UC Berkeley biologist is asking whether these microbes — our microbiota — might also have played a role in shaping who we are by steering evolution.
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Improved Path to Cassava Production
Researchers have studied the genetic diversity of cassava, highlighting strategies to improve breeding programmes.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Modelling the Early Human Heart
Researchers have developed a template for growing beating cardiac tissue from stem cells, creating a system that could serve as a model for early heart development and as a drug-screening tool to make pregnancies safer.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Smartphone Video Microscope Automates Detection Of Parasites In Blood
A mobile phone-based video microscope developed by a UC Berkeley-led team, is as good as conventional blood smears in detecting levels of the Loa loa parasitic worm.
Monday, May 11, 2015
Hearts On A Chip To Aid Drug Screening
UC Berkeley bioengineers have developed a heart-on-a-chip which can be used for drug safety screening.
Monday, March 09, 2015
Innovative Genomics Initiative Launched
Launch of new genomics initiative draws enthusiastic industry, academic partners.
Friday, February 06, 2015
Grapefruit Juice Stems Weight Gain in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet
A study from UC Berkeley found that mice fed a high-fat diet gained 18% less weight when they drank clarified, pulp-free grapefruit juice compared with a control group of mice that drank water.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Polar Bear Genome Gives New Insight Into Adaptations to High-fat Diet
A comparison of the genomes of polar bears and brown bears reveals that the polar bear is a much younger species than previously believed, having diverged from brown bears less than 500,000 years ago.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
UC Berkeley, UCSF Launch Innovative Genomics Initiative
Li Ka Shing Foundation provides $10M gift to support the initiative, establishing the Li Ka Shing Center for Genomic Engineering and an affiliated faculty chair at UC Berkeley.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Alivisatos appointed Samsung Distinguished Chair in Nanoscience
Chemist Paul Alivisatos awarded appointment UC Berkeley in recognition of his many scientific achievements.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Cheap and Easy Technique to Snip DNA Could Revolutionize Gene Therapy
A simple, precise and inexpensive method for cutting DNA to insert genes into human cells could transform genetic medicine.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Scientific News
How it Works: Advanced Data Analysis Using Visualization
Visualisation of data can be used to help molecular biologists tackle the vast datasets their experiments create.
Unravelling the Role of Key Genes and DNA Methylation in Blood Cell Malignancies
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have demonstrated the role of Dnmt3a in safeguarding normal haematopoiesis.
Salford Lung Study - The First Real World Clinical Trial
In this podcast, we learn about the Salford Lung Study and its potential to revolutionize the way we assess new drugs and treatments around the world.
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Robotic Cleaning Technique Could Automate Neuroscience Research
New robotic cleaning technique allows pipettes used in patch-clamping to be re-used up to 11 or more times.
Influential Cancer Researcher Receives Agilent Thought Leader Award
Biologist Scott Lowe receives award in recognition for his contributions to cancer biology.
Ebola-Affected Countries Receive NIH Support
The National Institutes of Health has established a new program to further research capacity to study Ebola and other epidemics.
Skin Patch to Treat Peanut Allergy
NIH-funded study suggests peanut protein patch is a safe and convenient method of treatment.
Startup Seeks More Precise Prostate Cancer Screening
Gregor Diagnostics aims to bring a non-invasive prostate cancer screening test to the market.
Scientists Uncover Why Hepatitis C Vaccine is Difficult to Make
Scientists have uncovered one reason why a successful hepatitis C vaccine continues to be elusive.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos