Regulated and unregulated emissions from an internal combustion engine operating on ethanol-containing fuels

S. G. Poulopoulos, D. P. Samaras, C. J. Philippopoulos

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211 Citations (Scopus)


In the present work, the effect of ethanol addition to gasoline on regulated and unregulated emissions is studied. A 4-cylinder OPEL 1.6L internal combustion engine equipped with a hydraulic brake dynamometer was used in all the experiments. For exhaust emissions treatment a typical three-way catalyst was used. Among the various compounds detected in exhaust emissions, the following ones were monitored at engine and catalyst outlet: methane, hexane, ethylene, acetaldehyde, acetone, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, toluene, acetic acid and ethanol. Addition of ethanol in the fuel up to 10% w/w had as a result an increase in the Reid vapour pressure of the fuel, which indicates indirectly increased evaporative emissions, while carbon monoxide tailpipe emissions were decreased. For ethanol-containing fuels, acetaldehyde emissions were appreciably increased (up to 100%), especially for fuel containing 3% w/w ethanol. In contrast, aromatics emissions were decreased by ethanol addition to gasoline. Methane and ethanol were the most resistant compounds to oxidation while ethylene was the most degradable compound over the catalyst. Ethylene, methane and acetaldehyde were the main compounds present at engine exhaust while methane, acetaldehyde and ethanol were the main compounds in tailpipe emissions for ethanol fuels after the catalyst operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4399-4406
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - Aug 7 2001


  • Aldehydes
  • Catalytic converter
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Hydrocarbon speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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