Project at a Glance

Title: Measurements of toxic exhaust emissions from gasoline-powered light-duty vehicles

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Warner-Selph

Contractor: Southwest Research Institute

Contract Number: A6-198-32

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Mobile Sources & Fuels, Toxic Air Contaminants


Exhaust emission rates of selected toxic substances were determined for two late model gasoline-powered passenger cars. These substances, which have appeared on California Air Resources Board Toxic Air Contaminant lists or have been candidates for the lists, included volatile and semi-volatile halogenated hydrocarbons, 1,3-butadiene, acrolein, phenols, nitrobenzene, dialkylnitrosamines, and a number of other unregulated emissions. Regulated gaseous emissions and fuel economy were also measured. A literature search was performed to determine if any of these compounds had previously been measured in the exhaust of gasoline-powered vehicles and if appropriate analytical procedures were available. When unavailable, procedures were developed for sampling and analyzing the unregulated toxic emissions compounds. The two vehicles were then tested to determine the emission rates of the targeted compounds. In the tests, a 1987 Ford Taurus equipped with a three-way plus oxidation catalyst and a 1986 Toyota Camry equipped with a three-way catalyst only were operated over the Federal Test Procedure, the Highway Fuel Economy Test and the New York City Cycle. The test fuel was a regular unleaded gasoline without ethanol or methanol, and was obtained from California.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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