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Research Article Open Access
Drive-thru users at fast food restaurants stay in their vehicle and have the engine running instead of walking into the restaurant to place an order for food or beverage. Although the drive-thrus are convenient, and they save time for costumers, they may have negative impacts on the air quality. Idling vehicles waiting in lines at drive-thru facilities waste gas, harm air quality, and increase greenhouse gas emissions. This study examined the emission rates at three fast food restaurants in Houston, TX, with different drive-thru configurations. By driving on each drive-thru facility in two different times of the day (peak hours and non-peak hours), instantaneous speed and acceleration of vehicles were collected on a second-by-second basis using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Then, for each second-bysecond data, Vehicle Specific Power (VSP) value was calculated using instantaneous speed and acceleration. VSP and instantaneous speeds of the vehicles were used to obtain the operating mode distribution bins according to the standard provided by the Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES). The vehicle emissions were calculated based on the operating mode binning approach. Emission factors analyzed in this study are Carbon Monoxide (CO), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), and Hydrocarbons (HC). The results of the study showed that the estimated emission is lower at drive-thru facilities with fewer stops and number of lanes.
Drive-thru, Emission, Operating mode, Vehicle Specific Power (VSP), Soil Contamination, Building Material, Soil Moisture, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Impact, Environmental Issues, Water Resource, Material Engineering, Pollution Control, Water Quality, Transport Engineering, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Environmental sustainability, Computation Fluid Dynamics, Geotechnical Engineering, Evapotranspiration, Foundation