The Effects of Secondary

Some Toyota engines use a secondary air system to supplement the oxygen supply for the oxidation catalyst. This supplementary air is introduced into the exhaust stream upstream of the catalytic converter. Secondary air increases the oxygen content of the exhaust stream and reduces the carbon dioxide by diluting it.

Analyzing Exhaust Emission Readings

• Hydrocarbons are measured by an exhaust analyzer in parts per million (ppm). As you know, HC is unburned fuel that remains as a result of a misfire. When combustion doesn't take place or when only part of the air/fuel charge burns, hydrocarbon levels goes up.

• Carbon Monoxide is measured by an exhaust analyzer in percent (%) or parts per hundred. CO is a byproduct of combustion, therefore, if combustion does not take place, carbon monoxide will not be created. Based on this premise, when a misfire occurs, the carbon monoxide that would have normally been produced during the production process is not produced. Generally speaking, on fuel injected vehicles, high CO means too much fuel is being delivered to the engine for the amount of air entering the intake manifold.

• Nitrogen Oxides measured by an exhaust analyzer in parts per million (ppm). Nitrogen oxides are a by-product of combustion. NOx is formed in large quantities when combustion temperatures exceed about 2500' F. Anything which causes combustion temperatures to rise will also cause NOx emissions to rise. Misfire can also cause NOx to rise because of the increase in oxygen that it causes in the catalytic converter feed gas.

• Carbon Dioxide measured by an exhaust analyzer in percent (%) or parts per hundred. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of efficient and complete combustion. Near perfect combustion will result in carbon dioxide levels which approach the theoretical maximum of 15.5%. Carbon dioxide levels are effected by air/fuel ratio, spark timing, and any other factors which effect combustion efficiency.

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• Oxygen is measured by an exhaust analyzer in percent (%) or parts per hundred. The amount of oxygen produced by an engine is effected by how close the air/fuel ratio is to stoichiometry. As the mixture goes lean of stoichiometry, oxygen increases. As mixture goes rich of stoichiometry, oxygen falls close to zero. Because oxygen is used up in the combustion process, concentrations at the tailpipe will be very low. If misfire occurs, however, oxygen will increase dramatically as it passes unused through the combustion chamber.

Another factor in analyzing NOx emissions are the two primary emissions sub-systems designed to control NOx levels, the EGR and reduction catalyst systems. NOx emissions will increase when the EGR system malfunctions or when the reduction catalyst efficiency falls. Efficiency of the reduction catalyst is closely tied to normal operation of the closed loop fuel control system. Reduction efficiency falls dramatically when catalyst feed gas carbon monoxide content is too low (oxygen content too high.)

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