Monte Carlo simulation of nitrogen oxides dispersion from a vehicular exhaust plume and its sensitivity studies

Tat Leung Chan, G. Dong, Chun Shun Cheung, Chun Wah Leung, C. P. Wong, W. T. Hung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The pollutant dispersion behavior from the vehicular exhaust plume has a direct impact on human health, particularly to the drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, people working nearby and vehicle passengers. A two-dimensional pollutant dispersion numerical model was developed based on the joint-scalar probability density function (PDF) approach coupled with a k-ε turbulence model to simulate the initial dispersion process of nitrogen oxides, temperature and flow velocity distributions from a vehicular exhaust plume. A Monte Carlo algorithm was used to solve the PDF transport equations in order to obtain the dispersion distribution of nitrogen oxides concentration. The model was then validated by a series of sensitivity experimental studies in order to assess the effects of vehicular exhaust tailpipe velocities, wind speeds and chemistry on the initial dispersion of NO and NO2mass concentrations from the vehicular exhaust plume. The results show that the mass concentrations of nitrogen oxides decrease along the centerline of the vehicular exhaust plume in the downstream distance. The dispersion process can be enhanced when the vehicular exhaust tailpipe velocity is much larger than the wind speed. The oxidation reaction of NO plays an important role when the wind speed is large and the vehicular exhaust exit velocity is small, which leads to chemical reduction of NO, and the formation and accumulation of NO2in the exhaust plume. It is also found that the effect of vehicular exhaust-induced turbulence in the vicinity of the exhaust tailpipe exit is more dominant than the effect of wind turbulence, while the wind turbulence gradually shows a significant role for the dispersion of nitrogen oxides along with the development of exhaust plume. The range of dispersion of nitrogen oxides in the radial direction is increased along with the development of vehicular exhaust plume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6117-6127
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2001


  • Joint-scalar PDF approach
  • k-ε turbulence model
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Vehicular exhaust plume dispersion model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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