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Braking vehicles can emit 1 nm particles

In a previous newsletter few months ago, we wrote about recent research revealing significant nanocluster aerosol (NCA) emissions from traffic; lots of 1.3-3 nm particles being emitted by vehicles (link). Another study has shown, that the engine is not the only source of NCA particles from a vehicle. Nosko et al. found in their research that brakes can emit notable amounts of really small particles, even at quite low temperatures.


As the brake materials slide against each other when a vehicle is braking, wear particles are generated. At the same time frictional heat causes vapor generation, which also leads to generation of aerosol particles. Brake emissions have been studied comprehensively regarding particles larger than 5 nm, and so Nosko et al. (2017), from KTH Royal Institue of Technology, decided to explore the smaller particles in the range of 1-4 nm from brake materials.

What they found was that all the tested brake materials produced significant amounts of 1.3-4.4 nm particles, some more than others. The NCA particle emissions were temperature dependent, similar as for larger nanoparticles. For some of the studied materials, the NCA particle production spiked up already at 160 °C, quite a moderate temperature. The researchers state that further investigation is necessary to better understand the particle formation process related to brake emissions.


To read the article by Nosko et al., please see the Journal: Nosko, O., Vanhanen, J., Olofsson, U. Emission of 1.3-10 nm airborne particles from brake materials. Aerosol Sci. Technol. vol 51, issue 1, pp. 91-96, 2017. Published online 02 Nov 2016.


Airmodus webinar series

Airmodus CPC-webinar is going live on Tuesday February 13th; this is starting the series of three webinars, all about to be presented in the following few weeks.

Topics of the webinars range from the use and basic maintenance of the Airmodus CPCs and the A10 PSM to A11 nCNC data analysis. The webinars will include introduction of the principles, best practices and tips on what to do when you spot an error message. Please find more information on each of the webinars on our website:

For information on all our upcoming events, see





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