Diesel Engine Exhaust Toxicity

We investigate how the inhalation toxicity of diesel engine emissions is influenced by newly developed and currently used diesel engine technologies

Diesel moves the world. As a result of the increasing popularity of diesel engines, especially in the private transportation sector, emission legislations are continuously becoming more stringent. As a consequence, the development of new technologies for emission reduction and fuel efficiency improvement is rapidly progressing. The success of these new technologies in technical terms is well known, how the emission toxicity is changed is, however, poorly understood. The aim of this project is therefore to gain insight into how the toxicity of diesel engine emissions is influenced by exhaust after-treatment systems such as a diesel particle filter (DPF) and oxidative catalysts, different fuel types (e.g. biodiesel), different lubrication oils and fuel additives. The project focusses on the toxicity of emissions produced in urban centers, therefore a passenger diesel car, in its technology comparable to a large fraction of the current diesel vehicle fleet in Switzerland, is used as a test vehicle. Since the respiratory tract is the main site of interaction between air pollution and the human body, an in vitro model of the human epithelial airway barrier serves as a biological test system.

Principal investigator

Involved people

External partners

Dr. Norbert Heeb

Technik Thermische Maschinen

Prof. Jan Czerwinski

IC-Engines & Exhaust Emissions, Bern University of Applied Sciences

Dr. Norbert Heeb

EMPA, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research


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