Vehicle emissions - the "cold start" problem

Catalytic converters will be of only limited success in reducing air pollution in urban areas, warns a report from the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).1 Catalysts are only effective once they reach a sufficiently high temperature - so that by 2000 over half of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions will be due to short car journeys.

The report was prepared for WWF by Earth Resources Research (ERR). It models the effects of the introduction of closed-loop three-way catalysts, which were effectively made mandatory by EC legislation on all new petrol-engined cars from January 1993. The model takes into account the European Commission's recent proposal to introduce tighter emission limits in 1996 (ENDS Report 216, p 38 

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