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Impacts of ethanol blended fuels and cold temperature on VOC emissions from gasoline vehicles in China

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
March 26, 2024

The Chinese central government has initiated pilot projects to promote the adoption of gasoline containing 10%v ethanol (E10). Vehicle emissions using ethanol blended fuels require investigation to estimate the environmental impacts of the initiative. Five fuel formulations were created using two blending methods (splash blending and match blending) to evaluate the impacts of formulations on speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from exhaust emissions. Seven in-use vehicles covering China 4 to China 6 emission standards were recruited. Vehicle tests were conducted using the Worldwide Harmonized Test Cycle (WLTC) in a temperature-controlled chamber at 23 °C and −7 °C. Splash blended E10 fuels led to significant reductions in VOC emissions by 12%–75%. E10 fuels had a better performance of reducing VOC emissions in older model vehicles than in newer model vehicles. These results suggested that E10 fuel could be an option to mitigate the VOC emissions. Although replacing methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) with ethanol in regular gasoline had no significant effects on VOC emissions, the replacement led to lower aromatic emissions by 40%–60%. Alkanes and aromatics dominated approximately 90% of VOC emissions for all vehicle-fuel combinations. Cold temperature increased VOC emissions significantly, by 3–26 folds for all vehicle/fuel combinations at −7 °C. Aromatic emissions were increased by cold temperature, from 2 to 26 mg/km at 23 °C to 33–238 mg/km at −7 °C. OVOC emissions were not significantly affected by E10 fuel or cold temperature. The ozone formation potential (OFP) and secondary organic aerosol formation potential (SOAFP) of splash blended E10 fuels decreased by up to 76% and 81%, respectively, compared with those of E0 fuels. The results are useful to update VOC emission profiles of Chinese vehicles using ethanol blended gasoline and under low-temperature conditions.

Yihuan Cao
Haiguang Zhao
Shaojun Zhang
Xian Wu
James E. Anderson
Wei Shen
Ye Wu
Research Areas
Mobility Systems

VOC emission

Ethanol blended fuels

Cold temperature



Publication Type
Journal Article
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation

Yihuan Cao, Haiguang Zhao, Shaojun Zhang, Xian Wu, James E. Anderson, Wei Shen, Timothy J. Wallington, Ye Wu, Impacts of ethanol blended fuels and cold temperature on VOC emissions from gasoline vehicles in China, Environmental Pollution, Volume 348, 2024. CSS24-19