The Thermodynamics of Exhaust Gas Condensation
Water vapor is, aside from carbon dioxide, the major fossil fuel combustion by-product. Depending on its concentration in the exhaust gas mixture as well as on the exhaust gas pressure, its condensation temperature can be derived. For typical gasoline engine stoichiometric operating conditions, the water vapor dew point lies at about 53 °C. The exhaust gas mixture does however contain some pollutants coming from the fuel, engine oil, and charge air, which can react with the water vapor and affect the condensation process. For instance, sulfur trioxide present in the exhaust, reacts with water vapor forming sulfuric acid. This acid builds a binary system with water vapor, which presents a dew point often above 100 °C. Exhaust composition after leaving the combustion chamber strongly depends on fuel type, engine concept and operation point. Furthermore, the exhaust undergoes several chemical after treatments.