Reducing emissions

When we’re driving our car, we emit a lot of exhaust gases, one of the most dangerous being CO. Exhaust gases are usually very fine, especially with the modern vehicles. However, that gives us the problem of the fine particles. 90% of all emissions are now smaller than 1 micron (As reference, the human eye can see up to 20 micron and a human hair is 70 micron). Those fine particles get inhaled by humans and come into our respiratory system. Obviously, we have to try to reduce these harmful fine particle emissions, in order to stay healthy. There are already a few solutions available, e.g. the 3-way catalyst (which uses precious metals to transform NOx, CO and Hydrocarbons to less dangerous gases), exhaust gas redirect, etc.

Research on those exhaust gases is being done to improve the quality of the exhaust gases (i.e. reduce the harmful emissions). But just how important is this research? A lot of different researches are being done on everything from fuel to exhaust gas. Mainly the engine is given a lot of attention, but I think there should also be a lot of attention on the exhaust gases. Car manufacturers only research it because of the legislation involved.




  1. I agree, cars driving on fuel will still be around for a long time, so changes/optimizations should be done wherever possible. Especially in the part of the car that is responsible for purifying what comes out, as changing what goes in is a slow trend. It really is a pity that the manufacturer’s mentality is mainly based on making profit, avoiding fines, etc. I guess it is not an easy task to make big changes in the composition of exhaust gases, but as you said, research is definitely necessary.


  2. Is CO really that much of an issue outside? I know that occasionaly people suffocate in winter in poorly ventilated bathrooms, but as far as I know there is no danger outside, since CO spontaneously converts to CO2

    I agree that government should impose or at least encourage research on exhaust fumes. No sensible car company would do it spontaneously, since there is no profit in it


    • Jakobmols: even if CO doesn’t pose the same threat outside as it does inside, the CO2 is still a greenhouse gass that impairs the ozon layer. You really don’t want cosmic radiation and solar storm bursts to enter our lower atmosphere, we wouldn’t live as long anymore as we do now…


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