Controlling Pollution and Improving Performance
- Nitrogen gas (N2) - Air is 78-percent nitrogen gas, and most of this passes right through the car engine.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) - This is one product of combustion. The carbon in the fuel bonds with the oxygen in the air.
- Water vapor (H2O) - This is another product of combustion. The hydrogen in the fuel bonds with the oxygen in the air.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that is colorless and odorless.
- Hydrocarbons or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a major component of smog produced mostly from evaporated, unburned .fuel.
- Nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2, together called NOx) are a contributor to smog and acid rain, which also causes irritation to human mucus membranes.
Pollutants Produced by a Car Engine
Cars generate a great deal of fumes and gases, also known as emissions, when they’re running. Emissions contribute to air pollution, which is why the Clean Air Act was passed in the United States in 1963 to help reduce the amount of pollution produced by a range of industries.The National Emissions Standards Act, an amendment made in 1965 to the Clean Air Act, set the first federal vehicle emissions standards. Each state has regulations that adhere to federal standards, with many states requiring that all registered cars be tested to evaluate the output of emissions.The modern exhaust system on vehicles features a range of parts that helps control emissions and make them more environmentally friendly. Among these parts is a catalytic converter, which helped many car manufacturers meet the standards set by the National Emissions Standards Act.