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Effects of Using Oxygenated Fuels on Formaldehyde and Acetaldehyde Concentrations in Denver

Summary: 1
Effects of Using Oxygenated Fuels on Formaldehyde and
Acetaldehyde Concentrations in Denver
Paper # 476 Session No. AB-2b
Larry G. Anderson
Department of Chemistry and Center for Environmental Sciences, Campus Box 194, University of
Colorado at Denver, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364
Beginning in January 1988, oxygenated fuels have been used during the winters in Denver in an attempt
to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of carbon monoxide. Our research group has been monitoring
ambient concentrations of formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in Denver since December 1987. Our
previous work has shown that oxygenated fuels have had virtually no effect on ambient CO
concentrations in downtown Denver, while leading to CO reductions of only 5-10% at several other sites
in the Denver metropolitan area. Our previous analysis of IM240 vehicle emissions data in the Denver
area has suggested fleet wide emissions reductions for CO of 5-7% as a result of oxygenated fuels use.
But this same analysis suggests a 13-15% increase in nitrogen oxides emissions associated with the fuel
use. Formaldehyde and acetaldehyde emissions are expected to be affected significantly bythe use of
oxygenated fuels. We have found that there has been little effect on the ambient concentrations of these
two carbonyl compounds, even with dramatic changes in the oxygenate added to the fuels. MTBE
blended fuels were used almost exclusively during the earlypart of the program, while ethanol blended


Source: Anderson, Larry G.- Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado at Denver


Collections: Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies; Energy Storage, Conversion and Utilization