Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 5773-5796, 2006
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Analysis of non-regulated vehicular emissions by extractive FTIR spectrometry: tests on a hybrid car in Mexico City
F. Reyes1, M. Grutter1, A. Jazcilevich1, and R. González-Oropeza2
1Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México D.F., Mexico
2Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 04510 México D.F., Mexico

Abstract. A methodology to acquire valuable information on the chemical composition and evolution of vehicular emissions is presented. The analysis of the gases is performed by passing a constant flow of a sample gas from the tail-pipe into a 10 L multi-pass cell. The absorption spectra within the cell are obtained using an FTIR spectrometer at 0.5 cm-1 resolution along a 13.1 m optical path. Additionally, the total flow from the exhaust is continuously measured from a differential pressure sensor on a Pitot tube installed at the exit of the exhaust. This configuration aims to obtain a good speciation capability by coadding spectra during 30 s and reporting the emission (in g/km) of key and non-regulated pollutants, such as CO2, CO, NO, SO2, NH3, HCHO, NMHC, during predetermined driving routines. The advantages and disadvantages of increasing the acquisition frequency, as well as the effect of other parameters such as spectral resolution, cell volume and flow rate, are discussed. With the aim of testing and evaluating the proposed technique, experiments were performed on a dynamometer running FTP-75 and typical driving cycles of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) on a Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. This car is an example of recent automotive technology to reach the market dedicated to reduce emissions and therefore pressing the need of low detection techniques. This study shows the potential of the proposed technique to measure and report in real time the emissions of a large variety of pollutants, even from a super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV). The emissions of HC's, NOx, CO and CO2 obtained here are similar to experiments performed in other locations with the same vehicle model. Some differences suggest that an inefficient combustion process and type of gasoline used in the MCMA may be partly responsible for lower CO2 and higher CO and NO emission factors. Also, a fast reduction of NO emission to very low values is observed after cold ignition, giving rise to moderate N2O and eventually NH3 emissions. The proposed technique provides a tool for future studies comparing in detail the emissions of different technologies using alternative fuels and emission control systems.

Citation: Reyes, F., Grutter, M., Jazcilevich, A., and González-Oropeza, R.: Analysis of non-regulated vehicular emissions by extractive FTIR spectrometry: tests on a hybrid car in Mexico City, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 5773-5796, doi:10.5194/acpd-6-5773-2006, 2006.
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