Browse Publications Technical Papers 2010-01-1301
2010-04-12

Measuring Near Zero Automotive Exhaust Emissions - Zero Is a Very Small Precise Number 2010-01-1301

In the environmentally conscious world we live in, auto manufacturers are under extreme pressure to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks. The manufacturers have responded by creating clean-burning engines and exhaust treatments that mainly produce CO2 and water vapor along with trace emissions of pollutants such as CO, THC, NOx, and CH4. The trace emissions are regulated by law, and testing must be performed to show that they are below a certain level for the vehicle to be classified as road legal. Modern engine and pollution control technology has moved so quickly toward zero pollutant emissions that the testing technology is no longer able to accurately measure the trace levels of pollutants. Negative emission values are often measured for some pollutants, as shown by results from eight laboratories independently testing the same SULEV automobile. The negative emission values are shown to be caused by actual values that are very near zero, physically imperfect testing equipment and practical testing issues.

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