From the background notes as well as our discussion many things were discussed on car emissions, pollution in general, and their monitoring.
One emission that is not regulated is N2 Nitrogen Gas because it is consider relatively benign and makes up 78% of our air.
From the data collected, we can see that the newer, more efficient fuel burning cars have the highest CO2 levels given that it is given off with complete combustion.CO2 is currently not regulated but may be in the future given that it is a Greenhouse Gas.
But as it’s opposite, CO will be highest with older cars that release more unbruned fuel make into the atmosphere in the form of this colorless and odorless poisonous gas. As the engine gets warmer form running over time, the better the car will be at burning its fuel efficiently resulting in higher CO2 levels and lower CO levels.
Hydrocarbons are made up of hydrogen and carbon. In the lab, we tested for butane and propane. These compounds help to contribute to the formation of ground level ozone–a major component of photochemical smog.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) are very bad and are regualted because they aggravate respiratory problems and contribute to the formation of ozone and photochemical smog. Nitrogen dioxide can also combine with water to form nitric acid (HNO3)–a form of acid rain. Cars dont release ozone so we tested for NO2 (NO2 splits into in NO and O. The lone O combines with O2 forming O3 aka ozone).Catalytic Converters are used as “two-way” converters which combine carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC) to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). In our pH test we found that all engines produced a pH between 4-6. The reason that the pH is acidic is because of SOx and NOx. The governemnet has heavily regualted and taken much of the sulfur out of gasoline.
Look at The Know Your Formula sheet to see how all of these pollutants contribute to acid rain, ozone, and the air quality.
Also, we began to discuss how these pollutants are regualted:
The Clean Air Act empowers the EPA to set air quality standards and is the reason that you have to get your car inspected. The Clean Air Act led to the creation of The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the following pollutants: NO2, O3, SO2, CO, Lead, and Particulate Matter. Monitor these to provide the public with an air quality forecast and warn those with asthema, emphysema, and bronchitis.
For a good description on why and how catalytic converters are used visit here.
The 6 Criteria Pollutants established by the Clean Air Act that the government monitors (click on each to learn sources and effects): Website here
Air Quality Index (website here)
The Greenhouse Effect
Car Emmisions Ozone