Achieving Acceptable Air Quality: Some Reflections on Controlling Vehicle Emissions

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Science  02 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5117, pp. 37-45
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5117.37


Motor vehicle emissions have been and are being controlled in an effort to abate urban air pollution. This article addresses the question: Will the vehicle exhaust emission control and fuel requirements in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and the California Air Resources Board regulations on vehicles and fuels have a significant impact? The effective control of in-use vehicle emissions is the key to a solution to the motor vehicle part of the urban air pollution problem for the next decade or so. It is not necessary, except perhaps in Southern California, to implement extremely low new car emission standards before the end of the 20th century. Some of the proposed gasoline volatility and composition changes in reformulated gasoline will produce significant reductions in vehicle emissions (for example, reduced vapor pressure, sulfur, and light olefin and improved high end volatility), whereas others (such as substantial oxygenate addition and aromatics reduction) will not.