1974-02-01

Some Diesel Exhaust Reactivity Information Derived by Gas Chromatography 740530

Chromatographic analysis of diesel exhaust indicates a number of low molecular weight hydrocarbons, below C6. Using reactivity index as a criterion, much of the diesel exhaust reactivity can be attributed to ethylene and propylene caused by the thermal decomposition of the fuel. Hydrocarbons in the C4-C7 range, including high relative reactivity olefins, are generally low in volume concentration and therefore contribute little to the overall exhaust reactivity. Hydrocarbons, in terms of parts per million carbon above C7 are low in present diesel engine designs, so individual volume concentrations are generally fractional parts per million. Reactivity per horsepower-hour from diesel engine exhaust is less than that from the one small industrial gasoline engine tested by the heavy-duty truck diesel engine cycle. It is questionable if diesel engine hydrocarbons from well-designed engines need be controlled below present levels to reduce smog in metropolitan areas, especially since diesel engines burn less than 10% of the total vehicle fuel used.

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