Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-01-3621

A Toxicological Evaluation Of Potential Thermal Degradation Products of Urea 2001-01-3621

The purpose of this paper is to make a preliminary assessment of the potential toxicity of compounds that might be emitted from diesel vehicles using urea/SCR technology. The use of urea as a reductant in the removal of NOx from the exhaust of diesel-powered vehicles has the potential to emit at least seven thermal decomposition products and unreacted urea from the tail-pipe. These compounds include: urea, ammonia, cyanate ion, biuret, cyanuric acid, ammelide, ammeline, and melamine. The toxicity data base for these compounds, in general, is poor. In addition, there have been few, if any, studies examining the inhalation route of exposure - the most likely route of exposure for people from vehicle exhaust. The measurement and identification of these compounds from the exhaust of urea/SCR- equipped vehicles is needed to prioritize the kinds of health effects studies required to understand the toxicity of these compounds.


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