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Effectiveness of catalytic converters on diesel engines used in underground mining.

McClure BT; Baumgard KJ; Watts WF Jr.
Minneapolis, MN: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9197, 1988 Jan; :1-13
Oxidizing catalytic converters are sometimes used by underground mine operators as an emission control device to reduce odor, hydrocarbon (hc), and carbon monoxide (co) emissions from diesel equipment. The objectives of this report are to quantitatively assess the effects of catalytic converters on diesel exhaust emissions and to make recommendations for their use. Information in this report is from a literature survey and contract research supported by the Bureau of Mines. Catalytic converters are effective in reducing CO, hc, and odors when the exhaust temperature is high enough so that the converter remains above 250 deg. C. Converter temperature is dependent upon engine duty cycle. Catalytic converters increase sulfate emissions and slightly increase oxides of nitrogen (nox) emissions. If low-sulfur fuels are not used, the increase in sulfate and nitorgen dioxide (NO2) emissions can offset any advantages of the catalytic converter as measured by the emissions quality index (eqi). In addtition, in vitro bioassays have shown that catalytic converters produce soluble organic compounds, which have increased mutagenic activity with respect to untreated exhaust. Based upon criteria recommended by a joint Canadian-United States research panel, catalytic converters should only be used in special circumstances in underground mines. Vehicles equipped with catalytic converters should operate under moderate to heavy load conditions, and use fuel with a sulfur content less than 0.1 pct.
Safety-engineering; Air-pollution; Exhaust-gases; Air-pollution-control-equipment; Diesel-engines; Exhaust-systems; Catalytic-converters
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Minneapolis, MN: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9197
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division