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Environ Sci Technol. 2005 Sep 1;39(17):6792-9.

Effect of water/fuel emulsions and a cerium-based combustion improver additive on HD and LD diesel exhaust emissions.

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EU Joint Research Centre Ispra, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Emissions and Health Unit, 21020 Ispra (VA), Italy.


One of the major technological challenges for the transport sector is to cut emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) simultaneously from diesel vehicles to meet future emission standards and to reduce their contribution to the pollution of ambient air. Installation of particle filters in all existing diesel vehicles (for new vehicles, the feasibility is proven) is an efficient but expensive and complicated solution; thus other short-term alternatives have been proposed. It is well known that water/diesel (W/ D) emulsions with up to 20% water can reduce PM and NOx emissions in heavy-duty (HD) engines. The amount of water that can be used in emulsions for the technically more susceptible light-duty (LD) vehicles is much lower, due to risks of impairing engine performance and durability. The present study investigates the potential emission reductions of an experimental 6% W/D emulsion with EURO-3 LD diesel vehicles in comparison to a commercial 12% W/D emulsion with a EURO-3 HD engine and to a Cerium-based combustion improver additive. For PM, the emulsions reduced the emissions with -32% for LD vehicles (mass/km) and -59% for the HD engine (mass/ kWh). However, NOx emissions remained unchanged, and emissions of other pollutants were actually increased forthe LD vehicles with +26% for hydrocarbons (HC), +18% for CO, and +25% for PM-associated benzo[a]pyrene toxicity equivalents (TEQ). In contrast, CO (-32%), TEQ (-14%), and NOx (-6%) were reduced by the emulsion for the HD engine, and only hydrocarbons were slightly increased (+16%). Whereas the Cerium-based additive was inefficient in the HD engine for all emissions except for TEQ (-39%), it markedly reduced all emissions for the LD vehicles (PM -13%, CO -18%, HC -26%, TEQ -25%) except for NOx, which remained unchanged. The presented data indicate a strong potential for reductions in PM emissions from current diesel engines by optimizing the fuel composition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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