Cold Start Emissions of Spark-Ignition Engines at Low Ambient Temperatures as an Air Quality Risk

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SI engines are highly susceptible to excess emissions when started at low ambient temperatures. This phenomenon has multiple air quality and climate forcing implications. Direct injection petrol engines feature a markedly different fuelling strategy, and so their emissions behaviour is somewhat different from indirect injection petrol engines. The excess emissions of direct injection engines at low ambient temperatures should also differ. Additionally, the direct injection fuel delivery process leads to the formation of PM, and DISI engines should show greater PM emissions at low ambient temperatures. This study reports on laboratory experiments quantifying excess emissions of gaseous and solid pollutants over a legislative driving cycle following cold start at a low ambient temperature for both engine types. Over the legislative cycle for testing at -7°C (the UDC), emissions of HC, CO, NOx and CO2 were higher when tested at -7°C than at 24°C. Massive increases in emissions of HC and CO were observed, together with more modest increases in NOx and CO2 emissions. Results from the entire driving cycle showed excess emissions in both phases (though they were much larger for the UDC). The DISI vehicle showed lower increases in fuel consumption than the port injected vehicles, but greater increases in emission of HC and CO. DISI particle number emissions increased by around 50%; DISI particle mass by over 600%. The observed emissions deteriorations varied somewhat by engine type and from vehicle to vehicle. Excesses were greatest following start-up, but persisted, even after several hundred seconds’ driving. The temperature of the intake air appeared to have a limited but significant effect on emissions after the engine has been running for some time. All vehicles tested here comfortably met the relevant EU limits, providing further evidence that these limits are no longer challenging and need updating.

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Archives of Environmental Protection

The Journal of Institute of Environmental Engineering and Committee of Environmental Engineering of Polish Academy of Sciences

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