Hydrogen Cyanide Exhaust Emissions from In-Use Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicle exhaust emissions are known to contain hydrogen cyanide (HCN), but emission rate data are scarce and, in the case of idling vehicles, date back over 20 years. For the first time, vehicular HCN exhaust emissions from a modern, in-use fleet at idle have been measured. The 14 tested light duty motor vehicles were operating at idle as these conditions are associated with the highest risk exposure scenarios (i.e., enclosed spaces). Vehicular HCN was detected in 89% of the sampled exhaust streams and did not correlate with instantaneous air-fuel-ratio or with any single, coemitted pollutant. However, a moderate correlation between HCN emissions and the product of carbon monoxide and nitric oxide emissions was observed under cold-start conditions. Fleet average, cold-start, undiluted HCN emissions were 105 ± 97 ppbV (maximum: 278 ppbV), whereas corresponding emissions from vehicles operating under stabilized conditions were 79 ± 71 ppbV (maximum: 245 ppbV); mean idle fleet HCN emission rates were 39 ± 35 and 21 ± 18 g-min-1 for cold-start and stabilized vehicles, respectively. The significance of these results is discussed in terms of HCN emissions inventories in the South Coast Air Basin of California and of health risks due to exposure to vehicular HCN. (A)

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  • Authors:
    • BAUM, M M
    • MOSS, J A
    • PASTEL, S H
  • Publication Date: 2007-2-1


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01043439
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Mar 6 2007 9:10AM