Estimation of real-world traffic emissions for CO, SO2, and NO2 through measurements in urban tunnels in Tehran, Iran

  • Ali Heydarizadeh
  • Davood KahforoushanEmail author
Research Article


Mobile sources are considered to be one of the most important sources of air pollution among which are motor vehicles, recognized as the major contributor of air pollutants in urban areas. To determine the emissions for CO, SO2, and NO2 from motor vehicles as part of the attempt to realize the extent of traffic air pollution, measurements were carried out in two heavily traversed traffic tunnels in Tehran metropolitan area. The concentrations of pollutants and metrological and traffic data were collected through intensive measurements from September 27 to October 17, 2016. Resalat Tunnel fleet was composed of about 10% diesel-fueled vehicles and 90% non-diesel-fueled vehicles while throughout the entire duration of our campaign, only non-diesel-fueled vehicles traversed Niayesh Tunnel. Under an average traffic speed of 43 km h−1, emission factors from Resalat Tunnel campaign were measured to be (6.59 ± 2.69)E+3, (1.42 ± 0.84)E+2, and 6.80 ± 4.99 mg km−1 for CO, SO2, and NO2, respectively. These values were respectively 11% higher, 22% lower, and 40% higher than those from Niayesh Tunnel measurements which were recorded at a traffic speed of 30 km h−1. Current results indicate that the vehicular emissions in certain countries, especially the developing ones and in this case, Iran, are quite different from those measured in developed countries and that the high emission levels of SO2 in Iran are associated with the high sulfur content of the gasoline.


Tunnel measurement campaign Pollutant concentration Emission factor (EF) Traffic speed Tehran 



We would like to thank the staff of TURPC, especially Mr. Mohammad Hossein Norouzi, manager of Transportation and Traffic Studies and planning without whom carrying out this project would be impossible. We would also like to thank the staff of the traffic control centers of Resalat and Niayesh tunnels for their support during these tunnel measurement campaigns, and Professor E. Fatehifar and Mr. Farzad Davardoost for their assistance in providing the air quality monitor, and special thanks to Mr. Ali Hassanpour for his warm support and his assistance in data interpretation.

Funding information

This study was supported by Tehran Urban Planning and Research Center (TURPC).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Engineering Research Center, Faculty of Chemical EngineeringSahand University of TechnologyTabrizIran

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