Emission test in Belgium: PN counting
An important project in the field of automotive inspection in Belgium is the refinement of emissions measurements, with a view to sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility. Last year, the three Belgian regions completed the preliminary phase to integrate the new particulate emission measurement into the inspection process. Today, July 1, 2022, it became official.
This makes Belgium a frontrunner in Europe in the fight against particulate filter fraud. Knowing that a properly functioning particulate filter removes 95 to 99% of particulate emissions, this has a huge impact on air quality.
The Belgium research was focused on the detection of defect and manipulated Diesel Particle Filters (DPF). After an extensive 18-month study commissioned by the Flemish, Walloon, and Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium, it was concluded that a new emission measurement that uses PN measurement instruments can reliably assess the quality of the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) during the periodic technical inspection (PTI).
Vehicle exhaust particulate emissions increase with age and mileage. A significant increase in PN emissions was observed especially after 6 years and/or after 150.000 km. As the costs for replacing or repairing a DPF can be high, some end users decide to remove it completely. Thanks to the use of PN meters and their high sensitivity, manipulations of DPFs will be easily detectable in the future.
The three regions published, after this study, the regulations to start with PN counting on diesel M1, N1 vehicles.