Comprehensive Field Study of Fuel Use and Emissions of Nonroad Diesel Construction Equipment Academic Article uri icon


  • Limited field data are available for analyses of fuel use and emissions of nonroad diesel construction equipment. This paper summarizes the results of field research that used a portable emissions monitoring system to collect fuel use and emissions data from eight backhoes, six bulldozers, three excavators, four generators, six motor graders, three off-road trucks, one skid-steer loader, three track loaders, and five wheel loaders while they performed various duty cycles. These tests produced approximately 119 h of field data for petroleum diesel and approximately 48 h for B20 biodiesel. Engine attribute data including horsepower, displacement, model year, engine tier, and engine load were collected to determine these factors influence on fuel use rates and emission rates of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and opacity. Mass per time fuel use rates were developed for each item of equipment, as were mass per time and mass per fuel used emission rates for each pollutant. For petroleum diesel, fuel use and emission rates of each pollutant were found to increase with engine displacement, horsepower, and load and to decrease with model year and engine tier. The results were qualitatively similar for B20 biodiesel. Fuel-based emission rates were found to have less variability and less sensitivity to engine size and load than time-based emission rates. Where possible, development of emission inventories based on fuel consumed, rather than time of activity, is preferred.

published proceedings

  • Transportation Research Record Journal of the Transportation Research Board

author list (cited authors)

  • Frey, H. C., Rasdorf, W., & Lewis, P.

citation count

  • 88

complete list of authors

  • Frey, H Christopher||Rasdorf, William||Lewis, Phil

publication date

  • January 2010