Emissions from 200,000 Vehicles: A Remote Sensing Study

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Chemistry and Biochemistry


We have a device capable of remotely monitoring the mass emissions of CO and HC from passing vehicles in gm/l of fuel used in under 1 s/vehicle. The results from measuring the emissions of over 200 000 vehicles using this device show that a few vehicles, typically less than 10% of the fleet, are responsible for half the total emissions. This 10% of the fleet are referred to as ‘gross polluters’. The majority of gross polluters in the USA have had their emissions control systems tampered with despite laws to the contrary. Results from the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Sweden show that the USA imposition of emission controls has achieved a 50% reduction in fleet emissions, but for fleets everywhere, proper identification, diagnosis, and repair of gross polluters is the low-cost key to future emissions reductions.

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