heard you refer many times to the emissions produced by automobiles.
Could you please elaborate on them? What emissions are produced, and
what I can do to reduce them?
question, Emily. The four main automobile/light truck emissions are;
hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx),
and carbon dioxide (CO2).
emissions are basically unburnt fuel. These can be gasoline vapors
escaping the fuel tank, and the results of incomplete combustion.
Vehicles built since 1970 attempt to collect, store, and burn such
vapors. Vehicles built since 1996 take things quite a bit further
with tighter containment, leakage monitoring and on-board refueling
vapor recovery. Exhaust hydrocarbons occur when the engine is too
cold to insure complete combustion; the air/fuel mixture is
incorrect; a compression or mechanical fault occurs; or the ignition
system fails to deliver strong spark at exactly the right time. The
catalytic converter cleans up HC, CO and NOx, but canít be
expected to work miracles when an upstream fault is severe.
Catalytic converters also need to be hot to function properly.
monoxide is produced when there isnít sufficient oxygen during the
combustion process. This can be caused by something as simple as a
dirty air filter, a fuel system fault, or a miscalculation by the
engine management system. CO is a dangerous gas, as it is odorless
and colorless. You should never operate an internal-combustion
engine in an area without sufficient ventilation.
nitrogen are produced when the combustion process reaches the upper
end of desired temperature. Combustion can be cooled slightly can be
done by reinserting inert exhaust gasses and carefully managing
ignition timing and valve operation. Post-combustion treatment
occurs within the first bed of the catalytic converter. In sunlight,
HC and NOx combine to create ground-level ozone, the main component
of air pollution. It should be noted that ozone in the upper
atmosphere is a good thing, blocking harmful rays of the sun.
An engine that
runs perfectly produces mainly CO2, water, unchanged nitrogen and
traces of other things. We actually look for high CO2 production as
a sign of a healthy engine. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, so we need to
find other ways to propel our vehicles if we are to help reduce
important steps you can take to reduce emissions are performing
periodic, recommended maintenance; consolidating trips, which cuts
down on cold starts; maintaining recommended tire pressure, which
ensures safer operation and saves fuel; properly handling and
storing gasoline; and promptly resolving the cause of a "check