Physical, chemical, and biological characterization data for the particulate emissions from a Caterpillar 3208 diesel engine with and without Corning porous ceramic particulate traps are presented. Measurements made at EPA modes 3,4,5,9,lO and 11 include total hydrocarbon, oxides of nitrogen and total particulate matter emissions including the solid fraction (SOL), soluble organic fraction (SOF) and sulfate fraction (SO4), Chemical character was defined by fractionation of the SOF while biological character was defined by analysis of Ames Salmonella/ microsome bioassay data.The trap produced a wide range of total particulate reduction efficiencies (0-97%) depending on the character of the particulate. The chemical character of the SOF was significantly changed through the trap as was the biological character. The mutagenic specific activity of the SOF was generally increased through the trap but this was offset by a decrease in SOF mass emissions. Some extremely biologically active subfractions were found at mode 4 with the Corning trap, NO2 emissions and HC emissions were generally decreased through the trap.A computer performance model based on membrane filter theory was used to explain the solid particulate filtering efficiency data. The model showed how key variables influence particulate trapping efficiency.