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Task 44


Research on Unregulated Pollutants Emissions of Vehicles Fuelled with Alcohol Alternative Fuels

Purpose and Objectives

The gradual depletion of petroleum resources throughout the world generates an increased urgency to develop alternative energy sources. Alcohol fuels have the advantages of a wide range of sources. These fuels can be manufactured from biomass raw materials, agricultural raw materials (e.g., sugar cane, cereals, and rice), timber and urban waste, and fossil fuels (e.g., natural gas, petrochemical, and coal). A number of countries support the use of alcohol alternative fuels. For example, the United States, Brazil, and Sweden encourage the use of ethanol fuel made ​​from biomass materials. In addition, several regions in China, including Shanxi Province and Shanghai, have initiated a pilot program to promote the use of methanol fuel.

Due to the reduction of the limits of regulated pollutant emissions, unregulated pollutant emissions in the vehicle exhaust have attracted an increasing attention. Studies indicate that the use of alcohol fuels blended with gasoline in vehicles can reduce engine-out hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions to some extent. The reduction occurs because the oxygen content in the fuel can promote the complete combustion of the fuel. However, more unregulated pollutants may be emitted, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes, and ketones. These substances have very strong stimulation and sensitization. They also have potential genetic toxicity and carcinogenic activity, which could significantly impact human health. This issue is an important factor that could hinder further development of alcohol alternative fuels.

Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the unregulated pollutant emissions from vehicles fueled with alcohol alternative fuels. This type of research would serve to promote the application of alcohol alternative fuels in a more expedient manner.

By measuring the unregulated pollutant emissions of vehicles fueled with alcohol fuels, the main purpose of this project is to obtain the unregulated pollutant emission levels of alcohol-fueled vehicles and to gradually establish the measurement methods and limits of unregulated pollutant emissions.

Furthermore, our research will examine the influences that measurement methods, automotive technology, alcohol content in the fuel, ambient temperature, test cycles, and other relevant factors have on  the vehicle unregulated pollutant emissions.


The main activities of this project include:

  • Literature survey, to obtain the existing measurement methods and test data of unregulated emissions from alcohol- fuelled vehicles;
  • Comparative analysis of different measurement methods of unregulated pollutant emissions (such as FTIR, HPLC, GC and MS), to establish the complete measurement specifications;
  • Research on effects of different vehicles (PFI, GDI) on unregulated pollutant emissions;
  • Research on influences of alcohol content in the fuel (methanol 15%, 30%, 85% and ethanol 10%, 20%, 85%) on unregulated pollutants types and concentration values in vehicle exhaust emissions;
  • Research on effects of the ambient temperature (25℃, -7℃) on the concentration of unregulated pollutant emissions;
  • Investigation on the levels of unregulated pollutant emissions from alcohols fuelled vehicles in different test cycles (U.S. FTP75, Europe NEDC);
  • Measurement on the regulated and unregulated evaporative pollutant emissions from vehicles fuelled with alcohols;
  • Establishment the limits of main pollutants in vehicle exhaust emissions.

Expected Results/Deliverables

The project will give a final written report, which includes:

  • Comparative analysis of measurement data of unregulated pollutant emissions from PFI and GDI vehicles, using different measurement methods;
  • Characterization of the effects of the alcohol content in fuels and the ambient temperature on the unregulated pollutant emissions;
  • Determination of the concentration range of main pollutants in various vehicle exhaust emissions.
  • The budget for the implementation of this Task is € 80,000.


Project Duration July 2012 – December 2015
Task Sharing China, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Israel
Cost Sharing China, Sweden, Finland
Total Budget 80,000 € ($103,000 US)
Task Manager Fan Zhang
China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC)