The Bureau of Mines studied the characteristics of simulated coal gas as an automotive fuel in two multicylinder vehicles in a standard and high-compression-ratio engine configuration. While using simulated coal gas fuel, increasing the engine compression ratio improved the fuel economy and vehicle performance but increased hydrocarbon emissions by 40 pct. Photochemical reactivity of exhaust hydrocarbons was found to be extremely low using the coal gas fuel. An oxidizing catalyst used with the simulated coal gas fuel eliminated all but trace amounts of carbon monoxide and reactive hydrocarbons in the exhaust. Spark gap geometry and firing voltage were varied and, within the range tested, had little effect on vehicle performance and emissions using simulated coal gas fuel.