Prediction of IM240 Mass Emissions Using Portable Exhaust Analyzers

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Chemistry and Biochemistry


Inspection and maintenance programs for motor vehicles in the United States increasingly use loaded mode mass emissions testing (IM240). A method was developed to predict mass emission rates and mass emission changes, particularly from repair benefits, using a low-cost, portable four-gas non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) vehicle exhaust gas analyzer. A single vehicle was tested several times with the analyzer while on the dynamometer and undergoing successive repairs. Excellent correlations for CO and HC were observed. Five vehicles were measured using an on-road driving loop before and after emissions-related repairs, while another three vehicles were tested with no repairs performed. The on-road concentration data used to guide the repair process were converted to grams per gallon; when divided by estimated miles per gallon, this gave grams per mile emissions for comparison to IM240. Correlation coefficients (r2) of 0.87 for CO and 0.76 for HC were achieved for the 13 tests. The linear correlations between IM240 and emissions measured by this method would allow repair facilities to perform a relatively inexpensive test for diagnostic purposes and to estimate repair effectiveness without the need for a dynamometer.

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