The hydrocarbon composition of exhaust emitted from gasoline fuelled vehicles

P. F. Nelson*, S. M. Quigley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Citations (Scopus)


The non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) compositions of the exhausts from 67 vehicles in 'on the road' condition and driven through an urban driving cycle on a chassis dynamometer, have been determined. The major components were ethylene (11.2% w/w of NMHC), toluene (10.2%), acetylene (8.7%), m,p-Xylenes(6.5%), benzene (5.0%), propylene (5.0%) and i-pentane(4.8%). These compounds have also been reported as significant components in the exhausts from two similar populations of American vehicles. The NMHC compositions were found to be insensitive to the mass emission rates of hydrocarbons from the vehicles, except for the combustion-derived olefins, ethylene and propylene, which were affected by engine modifications introduced to satisfy emission control requirements. A close relationship was found between petrol composition and exhaust composition but this did not correspond simply to emissions of unburnt petrol. The aromatics are enriched relative to the alkanes in exhaust when compared with their proportions in the petrol.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment (1967)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


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