Real-world in-use activity, fuel use, and emissions for nonroad construction vehicles: a case study for excavators. Academic Article uri icon


  • A study design was developed and demonstrated for deployment of a portable emission measurement system (PEMS) for excavators. Excavators are among the most commonly used vehicles in construction activities. The PEMS measured nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, and opacity-based particulate matter. Data collection, screening, processing, and analysis protocols were developed to assure data quality and to quantify variability in vehicle fuel consumption and emissions rates. The development of data collection procedures was based on securing the PEMS while avoiding disruption to normal vehicle operations. As a result of quality assurance, approximately 90% of the attempted measurements resulted in valid data. On the basis of field data collected for three excavators, an average of 50% of the total nitric oxide emissions was associated with 29% of the time of operation, during which the average engine speed and manifold absolute pressure were significantly higher than corresponding averages for all data. Mass per time emission rates during non-idle modes (i.e., moving and using bucket) were on average 7 times greater than for the idle mode. Differences in normalized average rates were influenced more by intercycle differences than intervehicle differences. This study demonstrates the importance of accounting for intercycle variability in real-world in-use emissions to develop more accurate emission inventories. The data collection and analysis methodology demonstrated here is recommended for application to more vehicles to better characterize real-world vehicle activity, fuel use, and emissions for nonroad construction equipment.

published proceedings

  • J Air Waste Manag Assoc

author list (cited authors)

  • Abolhasani, S., Frey, H. C., Kim, K., Rasdorf, W., Lewis, P., & Pang, S.

citation count

  • 96

complete list of authors

  • Abolhasani, Saeed||Frey, H Christopher||Kim, Kangwook||Rasdorf, William||Lewis, Phil||Pang, Shih-Hao

publication date

  • January 2008