In a study published in April 2022, the Ecological Transition Agency (Ademe) notes that the tightening of standards and the generalization of the exhaust filter since September 2018 have led to a reduction in the amount of fine particles emitted during the combustion of premium fuel and diesel. The relative proportion of these carbon particles also tends to decrease compared to rubber, brake and road dust, as the number of vehicles with 100% electric traction increases in traffic. And it does not get any better, because the various brake particle collection systems that have been successfully tested are not yet mounted on Mr. Everymans bil.
Engines emit less than half of the particles generated by road traffic in Europe
It is precisely the “typical compact sedan for the average European motorist” that the British analysis company Emissions Analytics tested under real traffic conditions. Inflated to the recommended pressure, its four tires emitted 5.8 grams of particles per kilometer, while the exhaust emitted only 4.5 grams per kilometer. The researchers conclude that “the particles torn from the tires can be up to a thousand times more than from the exhaust”. Consolation, these microscopic fragments of chewing gum and silica are less fine (and perhaps less harmful) than carbon particles resulting from the combustion of diesel and gasoline, classified as carcinogenic by the WHO since 2012.
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