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Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Dec 2;48(23):14016-24. doi: 10.1021/es5034316. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Assessing the impacts of ethanol and isobutanol on gaseous and particulate emissions from flexible fuel vehicles.

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Bourns College of Engineering, Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), University of California , 1084 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, California 92507, United States.


This study investigated the effects of higher ethanol blends and an isobutanol blend on the criteria emissions, fuel economy, gaseous toxic pollutants, and particulate emissions from two flexible-fuel vehicles equipped with spark ignition engines, with one wall-guided direct injection and one port fuel injection configuration. Both vehicles were tested over triplicate Federal Test Procedure (FTP) and Unified Cycles (UC) using a chassis dynamometer. Emissions of nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and carbon monoxide (CO) showed some statistically significant reductions with higher alcohol fuels, while total hydrocarbons (THC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) did not show strong fuel effects. Acetaldehyde emissions exhibited sharp increases with higher ethanol blends for both vehicles, whereas butyraldehyde emissions showed higher emissions for the butanol blend relative to the ethanol blends at a statistically significant level. Particulate matter (PM) mass, number, and soot mass emissions showed strong reductions with increasing alcohol content in gasoline. Particulate emissions were found to be clearly influenced by certain fuel parameters including oxygen content, hydrogen content, and aromatics content.

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