Engine calibrations are inexpensive methods for reducing exhaust emissions since only software modifications are required. The California Air Resources Board staff conducted a test program to investigate the effectiveness of engine calibration techniques to reduce the newly regulated aggressive driving exhaust emissions or “off-cycle” emissions. Consisting of stoichiometric and rich “bias” calibration, these engine calibration techniques were applied to fourteen late-model vehicles. The engine calibration techniques reduced the off-cycle emissions substantially on most vehicles. To comply with the proposed off-cycle standards for California low-emission vehicles and ultra-low-emission vehicles, these techniques will be a cost-effective method to reduce off-cycle emissions.
Heavy-duty vehicles account for approximately 30 percent of the oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and 65 percent of the particulate matter (PM) emissions from the entire California on-road fleet, despite the fact that these vehicles comprise only 2 percent of the same. To meet legislative mandates to reduce excess smoke emissions from in-use heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles, the Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) adopted, in December 1997, amendments to the regulations governing the operation and enforcement of the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspection Program (HDVIP or the “roadside” program) and the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP or the “fleet” program). The initial roadside program was adopted in November 1990 in response to Senate Bill (SB) 1997 (stat. 1988, ch. 1544, Presley), and enforced from 1991 to 1993. It was suspended in October 1993, when the Board redirected staff to investigate reformulated fuels issues.
California is considering adopting an enhanced Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) program (commonly referred to as Smog Check II) beginning with the 1996 calendar year. This program will utilize a targeting scheme to identify vehicles likely to be high emitters and send these vehicles to centralized testing facilities. The remaining fleet of vehicles will be sent to decentralized testing facilities. At these facilities, vehicles will be subjected to steady state loaded mode dynamometer based tests. Simultaneously, all 1996 and later model year passenger cars, light- and medium-duty trucks sold in California will be equipped with an On-Board Diagnostic (OBDII) system. This system is designed to monitor critical emission related components and activate a Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) when a failure or a drift in calibration is likely to cause emissions to exceed 1.5 times the vehicle certification standards.
While most studies addressing the fuel effects are based on the Federal Test Procedure (FTP), there are limited studies investigating the fuel effects outside FTP test conditions. In this study, we investigated the differences in exhaust emissions from California Phase 1 to Phase 2 reformulated gasoline over a wide range of speed and ambient temperatures. Eleven catalyst equipped passenger vehicles were tested. The vehicles were comprised of three fuel delivery system configurations, namely, three from carburetor (CARBU), three from throttle body injection (TBI), and five from multi-port fuel injection (MPFI) group. Each vehicle was given 60 tests with the combination of two reformulated fuels: Phase 1 (without oxygenates) and Phase 2 (with oxygenates), three temperatures (50, 75, and 100 °F), and ten speed cycles (average speed ranges from 4 mph to 65 mph).
The use of methanol as a “clean fuel” appears to be a viable approach to reduce air pollution. However, concern has been expressed about potentially high formaldehyde emissions from stoichiometrically operated light-duty vehicles. This paper presents results from an emission test program conducted for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to identify and evaluate advanced catalyst technology to reduce formaldehyde emissions without compromising regulated emission control. An earlier paper presented the results of evaluating eighteen different catalyst systems on a hybrid methanol-fueled test vehicle. (1)* This paper discusses the optimization of three of these catalyst systems on four current technology methanol-fueled vehicles. Emission measurements were conducted for formaldehyde, nonmethane organic gases (NMOG), methanol, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen emissions.
The California Air Resources Board requires that new California vehicles be equipped with on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems. Starting with the 1988 models, these systems were required on new passenger cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty vehicles equipped with three-way catalysts and feed-back fuel controls. The purpose of the OBD system is to expedite the proper repair of emission-related malfunctions and, thus, reduce vehicle emissions. When malfunctons are detected, a malfunction indicator light (MIL) mounted in the dash panel illuminates cautioning the vehicle operator that a repair is needed. Also, a fault code is stored in the OBD computer memory. When the vehicle is brought to a repair facility, the fault code provides the mechanic with the likely areas of malfunction for repairing the vehicle. After the repair is performed, the fault code is cleared, the MIL is extinguished, and the OBD system will subsequently confirm if the proper repair has been performed.
A cooperative vehicle exhaust emissions test program was conducted by the California Air Resources Board and Chevron Research and Technology Company. The focus of the program was to determine the effect of aromatics content on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions. The program consisted of testing nine vehicles on three different fuels. The fuels ranged in aromatics content from 10% to 30%.* Other fuel properties were held as constant as possible. The tests were conducted in two different laboratories. In addition to the measurement of criteria emissions (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and NOx), some of the hydrocarbon emissions were speciated and a reactivity of the exhaust was calculated. Only slight changes in the exhaust emissions and reactivity were observed for a change in aromatics content from 30% to 10%.
An analysis of data provided by-vehicle manufacturers during the California emissions certification process has been performed for 1983-1987 model-year light-duty vehicles. The major change in emission control system design was a decrease in the use of secondary air injection which was used on 75% of 1983 vehicles, but only 50% of 1986 and 1987 vehicles. Exhaust gas recirculation was used on 90% of vehicles from 1983-1987. The sales-weighted certification emission levels of gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles were 0.23 g/mile HC, 3.1 g/mile CO, and 0.5 g/mile NOx in 1983. Levels of HC and CO were approximately constant at 0.20 g/mile and 2.7 g/mile, respectively, from 1984-1987 with NOx levels decreasing to 0.4 g/mile for 1987.
Two additive blends proposed for improving the flame luminosity in neat methanol fuel were investigated to determine the effect of these additives on the exhaust emissions in a dual-fueled Volkswagen Jetta. The two blends contained 4 percent toluene plus 2 percent indan in methanol and 5 percent cyclopentene plus 5 percent indan in methanol. Each blend was tested for regulated and unregulated emissions as well as a speciation of the exhaust hydrocarbons resulting from use of each fuel. The vehicle exhaust emissions from these two fuel blends were compared to the Coordinating Research Council Auto-Oil national average gasoline (RF-A), M100, and M85 blended from RF-A. Carter Maximum Incremental Reactivity Factors were applied to the speciated hydrocarbon emission results to determine the potential ozone formation for each fuel. Toxic emissions as defined in the 1990 Clean Air Act were also compared for each fuel.
A fundamental decision to be made in developing a motor vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) program is whether a “centralized” or “private garage” program will be used. Under the centralized approach, the state or a state contractor operates a network of single purpose “Inspection Centers” to inspect motor vehicles before the completion of the annual registration renewal process. After any repairs necessary to correct vehicles with excessive emissions are made at a facility of the owner's choosing, the vehicle must pass a reinspection at the Inspection Center. Under the private garage (decentralized) approach, both inspections and repairs are conducted by private repair facilities licensed by the state. A comparison of a centralized I&M program and a private garage I&M program currently operating in California indicates that the centralized program is providing over ten times greater emissions reductions.
A study was conducted by the California Air Resources Board to investigate the effects that altitude has on in-use heavy-duty diesel truck smoke opacities. The understanding of these effects may allow for the establishment of a high altitude opacity standard for diesel trucks operating at or above altitudes of 5800 feet. During a three-week study, 170 heavy-duty diesel trucks were tested at an altitude of 5,820 feet using a test procedure consisting of rolling acceleration and snap idle tests. Eighty-four (84) of these trucks were recaptured and retested at an altitude of 125 feet. Results from a regression analysis indicates that, on average, truck smoke opacities increased by 23 opacity points when tested at altitudes near 6000 feet. Possible high altitude cutpoints and failure rates are also discussed.
Emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are a major contributor to California's air quality problems. Emissions from these vehicles account for approximately 30% of the nitrogen oxide and 75% of the particulate matter emissions from the entire on-road vehicle fleet. Additionally, excessive exhaust smoke from in-use heavy-duty diesel vehicles is a target of numerous public complaints. In response to these concerns, California has adopted an in-use Heavy-Duty Vehicle Smoke and Tampering Inspection Program (HDVIP) designed to significantly reduce emissions from these vehicles. Pending promulgation of HDVIP regulations, vehicles falling prescribed test procedures and emission standards will be issued citations. These citations mandate expedient repair of the vehicle and carry civil penalties ranging from $300 to $1800. Failure to clear citations can result in the vehicle being removed from service.
The California Air Resources Board conducted an extensive field test program to evaluate a vehicle exhaust recirculation system for control of oxides of nitrogen. The system utilized hot exhaust gases from the crossover and included certain modifications to the carburetion, choke, and crank case ventilation system. It was tested on two fleets of automobiles equipped wtih California approved HC and CO emission control devices. The test program involved periodic measurements of exhaust emissions and fuel consumption. The effect of the system on vehicle drivability, engine deposits, wear, and oil deterioration was also studied. The Atlantic Richfield Company, under contract to the Air Resources Board, equipped the vehicles with the recirculation system and performed the final engine inspection.
Current California law requires the implementation of a mandatory annual vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program in the South Coast Air Basin by 1978. The pilot phase of this inspection program is now in operation in the City of Riverside. This paper evaluates the Riverside program and an alternate program for their abilities to detect gross emitters and provide cost/effective emissions reductions. A surveillance program was conducted to evaluate the Riverside loaded-mode inspection regime and an alternate idle inspection regime. Emissions and fuel economy tests indicated that there was no significant difference between the two regimes. Each regime resulted in immediate reductions on repaired vehicles of 35-40% in hydrocarbon emissions and 30-35% in carbon monoxide emissions, with no significant change in oxides of nitrogen emissions. There was a small (1-4%) improvement in fuel economy, and the average repair cost was $20-25.
Programs to control motor vehicle emissions originated in California as a result of Professor A.J. Haagen-Smit of the California Institute of Technology discovering that two invisible automobile emissions, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, react together in the presence of sunlight to form oxidants such as ozone, a principal ingredient of the infamous Los Angeles area “smog”. The State of California became the first government to regulate the emissions of new automobiles when it adopted requirements for the use of positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valves beginning with the 1963 model year.
A survey of vehicle refueling practices in California during the gasoline shortage of 1979 indicates that the use of leaded gasoline in catalyst equipped vehicles was occurring at a rate of about 1.6%. This 1.6% “misfueling” rate is lower than has been predicted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is almost exclusively the result of the refueling that occurs at self-service gasoline pumps. About three-quarters of the misfueled vehicles were apparently operated on leaded gasoline routinely. Based on the effect that leaded fuel has on the exhaust emission characteristics of catalyst equipped vehicles it is estimated that misfueling in California is increasing hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions by about 4% and 1.6%, respectively from late model passenger cars.
Gasohol, a blend of 90 percent unleaded gasoline and 10 percent ethanol, has been represented as an alternative to pure gasoline which can reduce the nation’s crude oil dependence. However, a systems analysis of the gasohol production processes indicates that gasohol is increasing rather than decreasing the nation’s dependence on crude oil. Alternative uses of the petroleum and natural gas currently used to manufacture ethanol would reduce the nation’s demand for oil. At the present time, every gallon of crude oil “saved” by substituting ethanol for gasoline results in a need to import approximately two gallons of crude oil. The federal government’s claim that gasohol can reduce the nation’s dependence on imported energy appears, to be based principally on political considerations, but also on the assumption that coal will eventually replace the petroleum and natural gas currently used in the gasohol production wherever possible.
There have been a half dozen surveys performed by the California Air Resources Board in California from December, 1977 to July, 1982 to determine the rate of vehicle misfueling in California. There has been great concern raised over misfueling which leads to the poisoning of catalysts and the subsequent increases in emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen. The results of observing refueling at service stations indicate a misfueling rate of about 2% which is much lower than what the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency figures indicate. Misfueling at self-serve stations is more than twice that noted at full-serve stations. The primary reasons given by motorists for misfueling are cheaper price of unleaded gasoline, performance (including pinging) and unavailability of unleaded fuel. Misfueling was accomplished primarily as a result of a modified restrictor or filler neck.