Apportionment of Vehicle Fleet Emissions by Linear Regression, Positive Matrix Factorization, and Emission Modeling

Xiaoliang Wang (Corresponding Author), L. W.Antony Chen, Minggen Lu, Kin Fai Ho, Shun Cheng Lee, Steven Sai Hang Ho, Judith C. Chow, John G. Watson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Real-world emission factors for different vehicle types and their contributions to roadside air pollution are needed for air-quality management. Tunnel measurements have been used to estimate emission factors for several vehicle types using linear regression or receptor-based source apportionment. However, the accuracy and uncertainties of these methods have not been sufficiently discussed. This study applies four methods to derive emission factors for different vehicle types from tunnel measurements in Hong Kong, China: (1) simple linear regressions (SLR); (2) multiple linear regressions (MLR); (3) positive matrix factorization (PMF); and (4) EMission FACtors for Hong Kong (EMFAC-HK). Separable vehicle types include those fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, and diesel. PMF was the most useful, as it simultaneously seeks source profiles and source contributions. Diesel-, gasoline-, and LPG-fueled vehicle emissions accounted for 52%, 10%, and 5% of PM2.5 mass, respectively, while ammonium sulfate (~20%), ammonium nitrate (6%), and road dust (7%) were also large contributors. MLR exhibited the highest relative uncertainties, typically over twice those determined by SLR. EMFAC-HK has the lowest relative uncertainties due to its assumption of a single average emission factor for each pollutant and each vehicle category under specific conditions. The relative uncertainties of SLR and PMF are comparable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1066
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • air quality
  • emission factor
  • HERM
  • linear regression
  • PM
  • PMF
  • source apportionment
  • source profile
  • tunnel
  • vehicle emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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