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Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions

About Emissions Testing

Emissions testing consists of collecting and characterizing the exhaust of an engine while also controlling (or at least measuring) the engine's activity. All exhaust contains gas, which results from the chemical reactions between the intake air and the fuel in engine cylinder. Exhaust may also contain particulate matter: tiny grains of complex carbon compounds, which, in high concentrations, are visible as grey or black smoke.

There are many reasons to perform emissions testing but the most important three are:

If the results of the emissions test must be submitted to a regulatory authority, then the test must be run according to their regulations. This usually restricts the methodology and equipment that can be used and requires the process to the more thoroughly documented. In other cases newer technologies can be used, which provide more detailed information but sometimes sacrificing accuracy.

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