January 16, 2018 4:30 PM, EST

Minority Fellow Studies Truck Air Quality

The Transportation Research Board this year named 21 students from 14 schools its TRB Minority Student Fellows as part of its work promoting minority participation in transportation. The 9-year-old program provides funding for students from select historically black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions to attend TRB’s annual meeting and present their research papers.


Arndreya Howard, a master’s student at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, was named a minority fellow for her work on the study Emission Analysis of Renewable Diesel and Ethanol-Diesel for Freight Trucks that analyzed whether alternative fuels such as ultra-low sulfur diesel, renewable diesel and ethanol-diesel reduced exhaust emissions.

Working with her adviser, Professor Raghava Kommalapat, Howard found that renewable diesel provided an 81%, 98%, 75% and 12% decrease in carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions, respectively, compared to ethanol-diesel.

The study concluded that “renewable diesel has the potential to be used as a more environmentally safe alternative fuel compared to ultra-low-sulfur and ethanol-diesel when considering the impact these fuel emissions have on the environment.”

Howard will graduate this May and plans to work in air-quality measurement and policy in the transportation industry or the government.