Chemistry characterization of jet aircraft engine particulate matter by XPS: Results from APEX III

Randy L. Vander Wal, Victoria M. Bryg, Chung Hsuan Huang

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14 Scopus citations


This paper reports X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis of jet exhaust particulate matter (PM) from a B737, Lear, ERJ and A300 aircraft during the APEX III NASA led field campaign. Carbon hybridization and bonding chemistry are identified by high-resolution scans about the C1s core-shell region. Significant organic content as gauged by the sp3/sp2 ratio is found across engines and powers. Polar oxygen functional groups include carboxylic, carbonyl and phenol with combined content of 20% or more. By survey scans various elements including transition metals are identified along with lighter elements such as S, N and O in the form of oxides. Additives within lubricants are probable sources of Na, Ba, Ca, Zn, P and possibly Sn. Elements present and their percentages varied significantly across all engines, not revealing any trend or identifiable cause for the differences, though the origin is likely the same for the same element when observed. This finding suggests that their collective presence could serve as an environmental tracer for identifying PM originating from aircraft engines and serving as a diagnostic for engine performance and wear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-629
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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