Humidity Effects on a Carbon Hydrocarbon Adsorber
Because combustion engine equipped vehicles must conform to stringent hydrocarbon (HC) emission requirements, many of them on the road today are equipped with an engine air intake system that utilizes a hydrocarbon adsorber. Also known as HC traps, these devices capture environmentally dangerous gasoline vapors before they can enter the atmosphere. A majority of these adsorbers use activated carbon as it is cost effective and has excellent adsorption characteristics. Many of the procedures for evaluating the adsorbtive performance of these emissions devices use mass gain as the measurand. It is well known that activated carbon also has an affinity for water vapor; therefore it is useful to understand how well humidity must be controlled in a laboratory environment. This paper outlines investigations that were conducted to study how relative humidity levels affect an activated carbon hydrocarbon adsorber.