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2012-06-18
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All internal combustion piston engines emit solid nanoparticles. Some are soot particles resulting from incomplete combustion of fuels, or lube oil. Some particles are metal compounds, most probably metal oxides. A major source of metal compound particles is engine abrasion. The lube oil transports these abraded particles into the combustion zone. There they are partially vaporized and ultrafine oxide particles formed through nucleation [1]. Other sources are the metallic additives to the lube oil, metallic additives in the fuel, and debris from the catalytic coatings in the exhaust-gas emission control devices. The formation process results in extremely fine particles, typically smaller than 50 nm. Thus they intrude through the alveolar membranes directly into the human organism. The consequent health risk necessitates a careful investigation of these emissions and effective curtailment.
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