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Has the anti-Diesel hysteria reached its peak yet? Some food for thought:

- gasoline direct injection engines produce much more harmful particulate matter than current diesel engines (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_direct_injection#Emis...), plus some carcinogenic gases like benzoapyrene.

- a lot of the particulate matter emitted by cars comes from brake and tire wear, which even electric cars have (https://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/04/20160418-pm10.html).

So blaming it all on Diesel engines is a bit short-sighted...






Particulate matter is about 60%-20%-20% between engine, brakes and tyres. Electric cars eliminate the emissions from the engine, greatly reduce the brake emissions because of regenerative braking, and slightly increase tyre emissions because of increased weight. And of course Nitrogen dioxide is eliminated by electric cars. Overall you’re taking about a 100% reduction in NO2, and a 70%ish reduction in particulates.

One other point also is that tyre particulate emissions vary hugely according to composition and manufacture. So we will need both a switch to electric and proper regulation of tyres, then we’ll really be getting somewhere.


Euro 6d now and previously Euro 6d Temp already forced direct injection to have a filter.

The paper about brake and tire wear you cited receive a Corrigendum about false attribution and conflict of interest because the author works in a motor tech:

The authors regret that as Victor Timmers did not carry out the research under the auspices of the University of Edinburgh, nor in collaboration or consultation with any personnel at the University of Edinburgh, the affiliation of “University of Edinburgh” has now been removed from this work at the request of the Institution. In addition, subsequent to the publication of the Paper, Victor Timmers has disclosed a potential Conflict of Interest with regard to the work, namely: “non-financial support from Innas B.V, during the conduct of the study”.

The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Direct injection petrol engines are now fitted with particulate filters in Europe.

The real answer is to get rid of fossil fuel powered cars - gasoline or diesel.

Replacing them with electric cars will only solve part of the problem - see my second point above. The real answer is probably to reduce usage of cars and encourage walking, cycling and using public transportation...

Last year I bought a particular sensor (I intended it to be a science project for my son): https://nettigo.eu/products/nova-fitnes-sds011-air-quality-s...

I carried it around with me for a few days in London, commuting in by train from the suburbs. There were two places that had the highest particulate levels. The first was in my kitchen when I was cooking (no comment!), and the second was on the London Underground. Particulates were far higher on the tube than on the street in central London. So high I would have thought it was a serious health risk for tube drivers. Presumably this mostly comes from the steel wheels on steel track. I don't know whether ingesting steel particulates is more or less healthy than other particulates though. Has anyone done any studies into whether tube drivers have higher rates of health problems than overground drivers?

Edit: table 1 of this paper confirms that the particulates on the underground are mostly iron: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/...


>Presumably this mostly comes from the steel wheels on steel track

Highly unlikely. Steel-on-steel is used because it lasts for YEARS without needing replacing due to wear.


Some of it is from that but mostly from the brake pads. You can see it collect on those cylinders between carriages.

What kind of cooking were you doing? High temp ( near smoke point) with oil is supposed to be very bad for health. Gas ramge?

Frying food seemed to be particularly bad, even with the extractor running. If it's not too cold, I open the kitchen door now when I'm frying. Burning the toast doesn't help either. And candles resulted in fairly high levels too (my wife is Danish, so candles are a big thing in our house).

If anything I'd suspect friction brakes as the source of the particles.

It's better to solve part of the problem than none of the problem. I don't use a car day to day but it's a requirement for my SO to get to work. Cars will always be a requirement for people so changing to hybrids, PHEV and fully electric is only a good thing for our health and the environment.

What's the requirement out of interest?

The article talks about NOx. Do brakes and tyres produce that?

I doubt the author can pinpoint his health issues to the effects of NOx. Particulate matter can also cause asthma attacks for instance. I'm not saying that Diesel cars (and buses, trucks etc.) are not a factor in pollution, but the article is focusing solely on them and describing Seattle as a comparative paradise, which I find pretty laughable. Ok, Seattle probably has better air circulation than London, but I hope you'll agree Diesel engines can't be blamed for that ;)



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