Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2950
2000-10-16

Rapid Hydrocarbon Speciation and Exhaust Reactivity Measurements using High Speed, High Resolution Gas Chromatography 2000-01-2950

The ozone forming potential (OFP) and specific reactivity (SR) of tailpipe exhaust are among the regulated factors that determine the environmental impact of a motor vehicle. OFP and SR measurements require a lengthy determination of about 160 non-methane hydrocarbon species. A rapid gas chromatography (GC) instrument has been constructed to separate both the light (C2 - C4) and the midrange (C5 - C12) hydrocarbons in less than 10 minutes. The limit of detection was about 0.002 parts per million carbon (ppmC). Twelve exhaust samples from two vehicles were analyzed to compare the rapid GC method with the standard GC method, which required 40-minute analyses on two different instruments. Speciation and reactivity data from the two methods were comparable. The increased sample throughput of rapid GC promises to improve OFP and SR measurements, particularly when good statistical data are necessary to insure accurate, precise results for low emission vehicles

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