Dispersion of Pollutants in Automobile Wakes

by Dennis D. Lane, Research Asst.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.,
James J. Stukel, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Mech. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 571-580

Document Type: Journal Paper


An experimental study was undertaken to study the distribution of gaseous pollutants emanating from a car exhaust in the wake of a car. A water flume simulation was used to study high-speed interstate conditions. Results of the study show that the concentration distribution behind the automobile can be broken down into three regions. These include a core, transition, and fully developed region. In both the core and fully developed regions, the experimental concentration at various spatial coordinates are shown to collapse to single curves by introducing an appropriate similarity variable. In all regions the concentration distribution approximates a Gaussian distribution. These results should prove valuable for all those interested in modeling the dispersion of pollutants resulting from automobile traffic on interstate highways.

Subject Headings: Pollutants | Automobiles | Traffic models | Highways and roads | Flumes | Curvature | Gaussian process | Traffic analysis

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