TTI’s Pecos Research and Testing Center was used the first week of March to determine vehicle emissions from light-duty passenger vehicles and 18-wheelers traveling upwards of 80 miles per hour.
A research team from the Air Quality Studies program equipped the vehicles with its recently acquired Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) device to gather data in real-life situations.
“Current modeling provides emissions estimates for vehicles representing travel at only up to 65 miles per hour,” said Associate Research Engineer Joe Zietsman. “Because of the trend of higher speed limits on interstates in rural areas and the anticipated higher speed limits for proposed highways like the Trans Texas Corridor, there is a need to better understand emissions at higher speeds.”
The main sponsor of the project is the Houston Advanced Research Center with funds from the Environmental Protection Agency. Other sponsors include TxDOT, for TTI’s El Paso initiatives, and Virginia Tech University, which provided some instrumentation and matching funds. Results of the testing should be available this summer.
“The PEMS device has allowed us to conduct cutting edge research by testing emissions during real driving conditions at higher speeds. The PEMS device has been used on six projects to date. One of our next projects will be to examine the impact of using hydrogen enrichment technologies,” Zietsman said.
Other TTI employees working on the high-speed emissions testing included Mohamadreza Farzaneh, Doh-Won Lee and Ed Brackin.