Automotive Exhaust Emissions During Cold-Starting

Principal Investigator(s):

David Kittelson, Professor, Mechanical Engineering


  • Bob Waytulonis, Former Associate Program Director, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

The purpose of the proposed project is to determine the effectiveness of simple retrofit technologies, such as electric engine block heaters and oxygenated gasoline, on the exhaust emissions of automobiles during cold-start and commuting during the winter months in Minnesota. In order to evaluate these strategies under actual winter conditions in Minnesota, a portable, on-board system for accurate measurement of regulated emissions will be developed and evaluated against certification-grade exhaust gas analyzers. The emissions measurement system will be an adaptation of a current portable emissions measurement system. This system has been used previously by the Center for Diesel Research (CDR) to develop an emissions monitoring procedure for heavy-duty diesel vehicles used in underground mines, and utilizes chemical-based analyzers calibrated at the CDR engine research facility using NIST-traceable calibration gases and a PC-based data acquisition and control system. The system will be modified to allow measurement of the range of emissions concentrations typical of light-duty, spark ignition vehicles, and to allow use in extreme cold conditions. Provisions will also be made for acquisition of other data related to engine and catalytic converter performance, including exhaust and ambient temperatures, intake and exhaust pressures, engine rpm, and relative humidity. After testing, calibration, and comparison during cold-start against NDIR and FTIR analyzers, the system will be available for evaluating strategies for reducing cold-start emissions from automobiles used during the winter months in Minnesota. At least two technologies will be evaluated. The technologies will be chosen in coordination with t the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Possible candidates for evaluation include block heaters, oxygenated fuels, "fast-light-off" catalytic converters, and electrically heated catalytic converters. Actual, direct verification of the effects of cold-wea

Project details:

  • Project number: 1994038
  • Start date: 01/1998
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Environment and Energy
  • Topics: Environment