UAI’s Research Validated by Health Effects Institute

For years Urban Air Initiative has been sounding the alarm on the dangers of aromatics in gasoline. Our research and analysis are now being validated and promoted by some of the leading experts in academia, fuel, vehicles and also at the EPA.

UAI’s David Hallberg was recently invited by the Health Effects Institute (HEI) to participate in a workshop on the effects of fuel composition on particulate matter. He was invited because of UAI’s extensive knowledge and expertise in this area and how it relates to ethanol. During the workshop three themes emerged, themes that UAI has been focused on through education and regulatory actions.

  • Gasoline aromatics are the predominant source of the most toxic emissions, such as secondary organic aerosols (SOA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).  Before the EPA always blamed these issues on diesel, but the experts at the HEI workshop confirmed that aromatics which make up 25 – 30% of our gasoline are a main contributor. Reducing gasoline aromatic content by adding more ethanol will reduce these toxic emissions, and at the same time significantly increase the fuel’s octane rating and engine performance, at a competitive cost.
  • To get a true grasp on the impact of emissions, vehicle and fuel testing needs to reflect what happens in the real world. Creating boutique fuels in the lab does not accurately portray what actually happens when vehicles are driven under everyday conditions using market-grade gasoline.
  • Splash blending or simply adding ethanol to gasoline is the most accurate way to assess ethanol’s emissions. Match blending, which changes several gasoline parameters when adding ethanol is what’s most often used during fuel testing. Experts agree that match blending gives negative results on ethanol, while splash blending correctly shows how ethanol reduces emissions.
    UAI is proud that our expertise is being recognized. We plan to continue working with the Health Effects Institute and other experts to push for improving fuel quality through increased ethanol use.