Working Together for Cleaner Air
All closed-combustion engines generate emissions. The main emissions are:
- Nitrogen gas: Air is 78 percent nitrogen gas, and most of this passes right through the car engine.
- Carbon Dioxide: Forms when carbon is released from the hydrocarbon fuel molecules and bonds with the oxygen in the air.
- Water vapor: Forms when hydrogen is released from the hydrocarbon fuel molecules and bonds with the oxygen in the air.
These emissions are mostly benign, although carbon dioxide is thought to contribute to global warming.
In addition, smaller amounts of more harmful emissions are generated during the combustion process:
- Carbon monoxide: A colorless and odorless gas that is poisonous.
- Hydrocarbons or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s): Produced mostly from unburned fuel that evaporates. Sunlight breaks them down to form oxidants, which react with oxides of nitrogen to cause ground level ozone, a major component of pollution.
- Oxides of nitrogen: Contributes to smog and acid rain and also causes irritation to human mucus membranes
The reason these harmful emissions are present is that fuel typically does not burn completely before exiting the combustion cylinder and escaping into the atmosphere as exhaust.
This problem exists with all fuel types, including gasoline, diesel, bio-diesel, propane and natural gas.
In the case of diesel, fine particle pollution is released that, according to recent studies, poses a serious threat to public health.
Now is the time to start doing your part. Start reduces tailpipe emissions by more than 70%.