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Technical Paper

Investigation into the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions of High Percentage Ethanol Blends

Six in-use vehicles were tested on a baseline gasoline and nine gasoline/ethanol blends to determine the effect of ethanol content in fuels on automotive exhaust emissions and fuel economy. The baseline gasoline was representative of average summer gasoline and served as the base from which the other fuels were blended. For the majority of the vehicles, total hydrocarbon, and carbon monoxide exhaust emissions as well as fuel economy decreased while NOx and acetaldehyde exhaust emissions increased as the ethanol content in the test fuel increased. Formaldehyde and carbon dioxide emissions were relatively unaffected by the addition of ethanol. The emission responses to the increased fuel oxygen levels were consistent with what would be expected from leaning-out the air/fuel ratio for a spark ignition engine. The results are shown graphically and a linear regression is performed utilizing the method of least squares to investigate statistically significant trends in the data.
Technical Paper

Start Catalyst Systems Employing Heated Catalyst Technology for Control of Emissions from Methanol-Fueled Vehicles

EPA published the first results from evaluations of electrically heated catalyst (EHC) technology for light-duty automotive applications. Since then, a number of automakers, suppliers, and government agencies have published results from their heated catalyst development and evaluation programs. EPA has evaluated a number of start catalyst systems incorporating an EHC start catalyst followed by a larger, conventional main catalyst. These systems have proven very effective at reducing cold start related emissions from methanol vehicles at low mileage. This paper compares the results from several EHC + main catalyst evaluations conducted by EPA.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of a Passenger Car Equipped with a Direct Injection Neat Methanol Engine

The cyclic and steady-state vehicle emissions, fuel economy, performance, and cold start behavior of an automobile equipped with a direct injection methanol engine are compared with those of three other comparable vehicles. One of the comparable vehicles was powered by a gasoline-fueled engine, and the other two were Diesels. One of the Diesel-powered vehicles was naturally aspirated and the other was turbocharged. All evaluations were made using the same road load horsepower and equivalent test weight. All the evaluations were conducted at low mileage. The emissions of the methanol vehicle are compared to California low emission vehicle standards, and to the emissions of another methanol vehicle.
Technical Paper

Operating Characteristics of Zirconia Galvanic Cells (Lambda Sensors) in Automotive Closed-Loop Emission Control Systems

Simple tests were performed to investigate the operating characteristics of zirconia galvanic cells (lambda sensors) in automotive closed loop “three-way” emission control systems. Commercially available cells were exposed to typical gaseous components of exhaust gas mixtures. The voltages generated by the cells were at their maximum values when hydrogen, and, in some instances, carbon monoxide, was available for reaction with atmospheric oxygen that migrated through the cells' ceramic thimbles in ionic form. This dependence of galvanic activity on the availability of these particular reducing agents indicated that the cells were voltaic devices which operated as oxidation/reduction reaction cells, rather than simple oxygen concentration cells.
Technical Paper

Resistive Materials Applied to Quick Light-off Catalysts

The application of resistive materials as part of an exhaust emission control system is presented and discussed. The importance of cold start emissions is emphasized, and results are presented from experiments conducted with two different conductive materials. Most of the testing was conducted using methanol as the fuel, although some tests were run using gasoline-fueled vehicles.
Technical Paper

Performance of Sequential Port Fuel Injection on a High Compression Ratio Neat Methanol Engine

A Sequential fuel injection system was fitted to a 2 liter Nissan NAPS-Z engine that had been modified for neat methanol operation. The specific modifications for high compression operation with neat methanol are described, and baseline brake thermal efficiency and engine out emissions are established. Sequential injection operation on neat methanol included varying the beginning of injection between 50°BTDC and 250°ATDC over an equivalence ratio of 0.6 to 0.9. Efficiency and emission results with the Sequential system are compared to those from the base system and from selected references. For the low speed, steady state conditions used in this program, the Sequential system did not show any general improvement in efficiency or emissions. This result is directionally opposite to that observed in one reference. The apparent cause for the divergent results is the absence of mechanisms in this experiment to prevent mixing along the cylinder axis.
Technical Paper

Catalysts for Methanol Vehicles

A Methanol catalyst test program has been conducted in two phases. The purpose of Phase I was to determine whether a base metal or lightly-loaded noble metal catalyst could reduce Methanol engine exhaust emissions with an efficiency comparable to conventional gasoline engine catalytic converters. The goal of Phase II was the reduction of aldehyde and unburned fuel emissions to very low levels by the use of noble metal catalysts with catalyst loadings higher than those in Phase I. Catalysts tested in Phase I were evaluated as three-way converters as well as under simulated oxidation catalyst conditions. Phase II catalysts were tested as three-way converters only. For Phase I, the most consistently efficient catalysts over the range of pollutants measured were platinum/rhodium configurations. None of the catalysts tested in Phase I were able to meet a NOx level of 1 gram per mile when operated in the oxidation mode.
Technical Paper

Toxicologically Acceptable Levels of Methanol and Formaldehyde Emissions from Methanol-Fueled Vehicles

The increased interest in use of methanol makes it important to determine what levels of methanol and formaldehyde emissions may be acceptable. This paper reviews the available health data for methanol and formaldehyde to define what approximate ranges of concentrations, termed ranges of concern, could be acceptable from a toxicological viewpoint. Air quality models are then used to predict the in-use fleet average exhaust emission levels in localized situations (heavily impacted by mobile sources) corresponding to these ranges of concern. Using predicted fleet compositions, approximate target emission levels are given for the light-duty portion of the fleet which could yield these fleet averages. Finally, there is a brief summary of available methanol and formaldehyde emissions data from neat methanol-fueled vehicles which are compared to the target levels.
Technical Paper

A Study of the Potential Impact of Some Unregulated Motor Vehicle Emissions

Studies of emissions from vehicles equipped with catalysts have shown that some unregulated emissions can increase when a catalyst is used. One example of this is sulfuric acid, which has been studied extensively. Other unregulated emissions include ammonia and hydrogen cyanide. In a number of studies, these unregulated pollutant emissions have been measured from light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty engines. These emission levels were used in air quality dispersion models to predict the resultant air quality levels. The ambient concentrations predicted for each pollutant were then compared to suggested concentrations at which adverse health effects may be found to determine if additional monitoring or control would be indicated for these pollutants. It was determined that mobile source emissions of sulfuric acid, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia do not in general result in ambient levels of concern for the air quality situations studied.
Technical Paper

Automotive Hydrocarbon Emission Patterns in the Measurement of Nonmethane Hydrocarbon Emission Rates

The advent of emission control technology has resulted in significant changes in both the total mass and detailed patterns of hydrocarbons emitted from automobiles. Emission rates of 56 hydrocarbons from 22 motor vehicles, including catalyst and noncatalyst configurations, were determined for the Federal Urban Driving Cycle. An increased relative abundance of methane is indicated for vehicles equipped with oxidation catalysts. In view of the photochemically non-reactive nature of methane, simple and economic procedures for determination of vehicle nonmethane hydrocarbon emission rates are evaluated. In general the procedures evaluated require independent total hydrocarbon and methane analysis, with the nonmethane hydrocarbon level calculated by difference. The procedures are evaluated by comparison of indicated nonmethane hydrocarbon emission rates with rates obtained by summation of individual compound rates determined by advanced gas chromatographic procedures.