Emission Characteristics of Mexico City Vehicles

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Document Type


Organizational Units

Chemistry and Biochemistry


Atmospheric chemistry, Emissions, Pollutants


The University of Denver remote sensor for automobile exhaust was set up for nine days at five locations in the Mexico City area. A total of 31,838 valid readings for CO and HC emissions were obtained. The emissions distribution was unlike any other we have observed in North America or Europe, in that the emissions for both CO and HC were vastly greater than seen elsewhere. The readings are discussed in terms of the fraction of CO and HC which would be measured by a tailpipe probe, and in terms of grams emitted per gallon of gasoline. The median CO emission was 3.8 percent, with half of the CO emissions coming from the 24 percent of the fleet with over 6.6 percent CO in the exhaust. The median HC emission was 1,100 parts per million measured as propane equivalent, while half the emissions come from twelve percent of the fleet with more than 4,000 ppm propane equivalent in the exhaust.

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Copyright is held by the Air and Waste Management Association.

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