Jiun-Horng Tsai1,2, Ya-Li Ko1, Ci-Min Huang1, Hung-Lung Chiang 3

Department of Environmental Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
Department of Environmental Engineering and Research Center for Climate Change and Environment Quality, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
Department of Safety Health and Environmental Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yunlin 64002, Taiwan

Received: October 26, 2019
Revised: November 14, 2019
Accepted: January 15, 2020
Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0539  

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Cite this article:
Tsai, J.H., Ko, Y.L., Huang, C.M. and Chiang, H.L. (2019). Effects of Blending Ethanol with Gasoline on the Performance of Motorcycle Catalysts and Airborne Pollutant Emissions. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2781-2792. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.10.0539


  • Ethanol blending gasoline reduces 30–37% CO and 19-28% HC emissions.
  • New catalyst systems reduce 12–60% CO, 32–39% HC and 81–85% NOx exhaust emission.
  • P and S element contents in catalyst increase with the increased of running mileage.
  • Paraffins and aromatics contributed about 80% analyzed VOCs in the exhaust.
  • Ethanol addition increases the carbonyls emission.



This study investigated the effects of blending ethanol with gasoline on the exhaust emissions of fuel-injected motorcycles. Regulated gasoline (RF), and 15 (E15) and 30 (E30) vol% ethanol fuel were used as test fuels. Measurements of several air pollutants (CO, HC, and NOx) and organic air pollutant groups were conducted for two new fuel-injected four-stroke motorcycles. In addition, various catalysts were inserted into the motorcycles’ tailpipes to determine the characteristics and performance of the catalysts in treating the exhaust.

Compared to using RF, we found that using blended fuel potentially reduced the CO and HC emissions by 30–37% and 19–28%, respectively. New catalytic systems, in conjunction with using different fuels, reduced CO, HC, and NOx emissions in the tailpipe exhaust by 12–61%, 32–39%, and 81–85%, respectively. The CO and HC emissions were directly proportional in quantity to the running mileage of the catalyst, but the NOx emissions were unaffected by this mileage, although they increased as the catalyst aged.

We also discovered that at identical running mileages for a catalyst, the fuel consumption increased by –1.7–6.5% and 4.1–15% when using E15 and E30 fuel instead of RF. Furthermore, the specific surface area and pore volume of the catalyst decreased with the aged catalyst the phosphorus and sulfur content in the catalyst increased with the catalyst’s running mileage; adding ethanol to the fuel decreased emissions of paraffins, olefins, and aromatics but increased those of carbonyls; and the ozone formation potential of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the tailpipe exhaust was 16.7–17.2% for paraffins, 22–33% for olefins, 26–45% for aromatics, and 4.9–25% for carbonyls.

Keywords: Criteria air pollutant; Fuel consumption; VOC species; Catalyst.

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