Composition of smoke generated by landing aircraft

Michael Bennett, Simon M. Christie, Angus Graham, Bryony S. Thomas, Vladimir Vishnyakov, Kevin Morris, Daniel M. Peters, Rhys Jones, Cathy Ansell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A combination of techniques has been used to examine the composition of smoke generated by landing aircraft. A sample of dust from the undercarriage from several commercial airliners was examined with SEM/EDX (Scanning Electron Microscope/Energy Dispersive X-ray) to determine its elemental composition and also with an aerosizer/aerodisperser in order to measure the particle size spectrum. The observed size spectrum was bimodal with equal numbers of particles at peaks of aerodynamic diameter ∼10 μm and ∼50 μm. The EDX analysis suggested that the former peak is carbonaceous, while the latter consists of elements typical of an asphalt concrete runway. In the field, a scanning Lidar, in combination with optical and condensation particle counters, was deployed to obtain limits to the number concentration and size of such particles. Most of the (strong) Lidar signal probably arose from the coarser 50 μm aerosol, while respirable aerosol was too sparse to be detected by the optical particle counters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3533-3538
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


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