1991-10-01

Effects of Gasoline Sulfur Level on Mass Exhaust Emissions - Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program 912323

In this portion of the Auto/Oil Air Quality Improvement Research Program, ten 1989 model vehicles were tested using two fuels with different sulfur levels. These tests were run to determine instantaneous effects on exhaust emissions, not long-term durability effects. The high- and low-sulfur fuels contained 466 ppm and 49 ppm sulfur, respectively.
Mass exhaust emissions of the fleet decreased as fuel sulfur level was reduced. Overall, HC, CO, and NOx were reduced by 16, 13, and 9 percent, respectively, when fuel sulfur level decreased. This effect appeared to be immediately reversible. Engine-out mass emissions were unaffected by changes in the fuel sulfur content, therefore, tailpipe emissions reductions were attributed to increased catalyst activity as the sulfur level was reduced.

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