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Germany adopts calibration procedure for PTI particle counters

25 June 2021

Germany has finalized a calibration procedure for particle counting instruments for use in periodic technical inspection (PTI) programs. The procedure, defined in the Richtlinie zur Kalibrierung von Abgasmessgeräten, die für die Untersuchung der Abgase von Kraftfahrzeugen nach Nummer 6.8.2 der Anlage VIIIa StVZO eingesetzt werden (“AU-Geräte Kalibrierrichtlinie“), was adopted by the Ministry of Transport (BMVI) on May 4th and published in the Verkehrsblatt on June 15th.

The adoption of the calibration procedure is an important step towards the implementation of particle counters for PTI emission tests to identify diesel cars with malfunctioning or missing particulate filters (DPF). Two more documents, expected to be published within weeks, are necessary to enable PTI-PN testing in Germany:

It is expected that the PTI-PN test for diesel vehicles (cars and light commercial vehicles a.k.a. vans) will become mandatory from January 1, 2023. The expected PN limit value is 250,000 1/cm3. In the future, PTI-PN testing requirements are likely to be extended to DI gasoline vehicles with particulate filters (GPF)

Since 2018, German PTI regulations require that all vehicles undergo emission testing, and vehicles with no OBD fault codes are no longer exempted. However, the smoke opacity test applicable to diesel vehicles is not sensitive enough to detect malfunctioning DPFs. The new PTI-PN test will replace the smoke opacity measurement for vehicles with particulate filters (Euro 5b and later).

Germany would be the third EU country to adopt the PTI-PN requirements, after the Netherlands and Belgium.

The PTI tests—conducted by large test organizations (TÜV, DEKRA) as well as small, independent workshops—are expected to create a significant demand for PTI particle counters. Thus far, four particle counting instruments have been approved for the PTI-PN program: the TSI NPET, TEN AEM, VLT E9700, and Saarloos DPC.

Source: BMVI Verkehrsblatt