Emission of metal-oxide particles from IC-engines
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Publication date: 2011-02-01
Combustion Engines 2011,144(1), 72-88
All conventional piston-driven combustion engines emit metal oxide particles. The main sources are the abrasion between piston-ring and cylinder, abrasion in the bearings, catalyst coating, lube-oil additives, and fuel additives for promoting the exhaust-gas after-treatment. Metal oxides, especially from transition metals, are very toxic when they are very fine. These particles have a high BET surface and penetrate the biological system. Hence, these particles must be scrutinized for quantity, size distribution and composition. This paper draws from published data and mainly the VERT certification tests, which prescribe a size specific metal analysis. The total mass of metal oxide is 0.1 – 1 mg/km, which appears negligible. But these particles are in the 10 – 20 nm size range. Hence, this small mass represents 1015 particles per kilometer. This is approximately the same number as soot particles emitted by diesel engines. Public health should focus on the metal oxide particles that are smaller and probalby more toxic than the soot particles. SI engines run at higher RPM and therefore emit more metal oxide particles than Diesel engines. Highly efficient filtration of such particles seems therefore necessary for all engine categories
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