PTR-TOFMS systems for automotive real-time vehicle exhaust analysis

Monitoring exhaust gas from combustion engines, emitting a large number of different compounds and with rapidly changing concentrations due to variations in operating conditions, necessitates an instrument that measures in real-time and with high sensitivity – an IONICON PTR-TOFMS.

Air pollution has been attributed to automobile exhaust as the major source. Combustion engines used in cars, aircraft, ships, power plants, etc. emit many air pollutants that have been shown to have a variety of negative effects on public health and the natural environment. 
Emission testing of combustion engines has therefore been the focus of intense studies. Apart from the emissions comprising carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter, and sulfur oxides (SOx), also volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their atmospheric photochemical reaction products have lately drawn much attention due to their negative impact on the atmosphere and their dangers to public health. 

Setup for real-time automotive exhaust monitoring with PTR-TOFPTR-MS is an analytical technique to quantify hydrocarbons and VOCs with high sensitivity and in real-time. The capability to monitor emissions in real-time is particularly useful to investigate the fast changing conditions in the combustion process and to evaluate the impact of control technologies. Especially the initial cold start phase in cars or idle phase in aircraft engines, which is responsible for a large fraction of emitted compounds, as well as hard acceleration phases, require a real-time (or online) analysis. Looking at the exhaust composition allows investigating which processes and parameters are responsible for those emissions.

Major reasons our customers choose IONICON PTR-TOFMS to monitor exhaust emissions:

  • Emission rates change rapidly with engine operating conditions, thus a high time resolution measurement is important.
  • In contrast to offline methods, real-time analysis allows the measurement of critical compounds. For example, acrolein is an unstable compound which may easily get lost in offline sampling procedure. 
  • High sensitivity and good separation of isobaric compounds.

Learn more at the IONICON website