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The Role of Evaporative Emission from Cars in Air Pollution and Climate Change

Dr. JoshuJoshua Fua Fu, professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, recently chaired a session at the international conference on the Atmospheric Sciences and Application to Air Quality (ASAAQ) in Kobe, Japan. Titled “Regional/urban Emission Inventory in Asia Pacific Region,” the session’s key focus was on recent evaporative emissions in Asia and Europe that caused increasing ozone and PM2.5.

Evaporative VOCs released from automobiles contribute substantial amounts of hydrocarbon emissions to the environment, yet these VOCs are missing, grossly underestimated, or inappropriately treated in most anthropogenic emission inventories around the world. Evaporative emissions differ from exhaust (tailpipe) emissions because they are generated in the fuel tank, while the vehicle is both driven and parked. The interactions between processes affecting in-use vapor generation – such as vehicle driving and parking activity, fuel RVP, and temperatures — and the control technologies incorporated onto vehicles in response to certification emissions standards make it difficult to estimate vehicle emissions factors and sector inventories. Fu’s group is developing an Evaporative Vapor Emission Assessment (EVA) Model with Dr. Michael Tschantz at MeadWestvaco Corp, to estimate evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles.

Later, Fu gave a speech at the University of Tokyo invited by the Japan Society of Atmospheric Environment and the Japan Society of Automotive Engineering, Recent topics on atmospheric research.