What is in Car Exhaust? | Exhaust Components: Criteria Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases | Corning

Exhaust Components: Criteria Pollutants and Greenhouse Gases

Tailpipe Emissions

Tailpipe Emissions

What’s in my car’s exhaust?

What’s in my car’s exhaust?

Whether your car is diesel- or gasoline-powered or even a hybrid, fuel combustion in the engine produces exhaust. The exact exhaust composition might differ depending on the vehicle’s operating characteristics and the type of fuel used, but generally, vehicle exhaust is made up of two primary pollutant categories: criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Criteria pollutants are gases and particulates (e.g. carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxide, PM2.5) that contribute to global warming and poor air quality. That’s why governments around the world have put emissions regulations in place – legal levels of pollutants that may be released into the air from a single vehicle.

Another byproduct of fuel combustion are greenhouse gases (GHG) like methane, nitrous oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2), a major contributor to climate change. As part of a global effort to reduce climate warming, governments continue to tighten CO2 emission limits.

Emissions Challenges Fall Into Two Primary Pollutant Categories

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