Download Advances in Energy Systems and Technology. Volume 4 by Peter Auer and David Douglas (Eds.) PDF

By Peter Auer and David Douglas (Eds.)

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Additional resources for Advances in Energy Systems and Technology. Volume 4

Example text

1. Pollutant level (ordinate) of a spark ignition engine versus equivalence ratio φ. lean mixtures φ < 1, there still is appreciable pollution due to some incomplete combustion. This results from the fact that the walls, valves, and pistons in contact with the hot driving gases of combustion must be cooled to maintain their integrity: The flame front that engulfs and burns the combustible mixture is quenched near these relatively cold surfaces. Thus the HC and CO pollutants reside in a so-called "quench layer" adjacent to the boundaries of the gaseous combustion products.

The principal pollutants that the automobile emits are carbon mon­ oxide (CO), a deadly poison; unburned hydrocarbons (HC), irritants and sources of smog; and NOx (NO and N0 2 ), thought to be an impor­ tant link in a chemical chain leading to smog in combination with HC and sunlight and possibly injurious to both humans and plants. Auto­ mobile pollution control is difficult since HC and CO pollution results when the temperatures during combustion are too low, while NO* results when the temperatures are too high.

Although there are major uncertainties about the atmospheric frac­ tion and about the size of the C0 2 source from forest conversion, it is clear that whether (or when) atmospheric C0 2 concentrations will reach levels resulting in problems for global society depends on the future rates of fossil fuel consumption. Because the resources are so vast and relatively easy and inexpensive to extract, it is almost certain that fossil fuel use will continue to grow. The fossil fuels likely to be recovered contain about ten times the amount of carbon now in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide; this may be contrasted with the amount of carbon in all the live biomass of the world, which is of the same order as that in the atmosphere.

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