The Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr. Peter Walker, today visited Europe's newest and?
The Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr. Peter Walker, today visited Europe's newest and largest vehicle Emission Laboratory at the Ford Research and Engineering Centre in Essex. The new laboratory has been built and equipped at a cost of GBP1 million and is the most technically advanced centre for vehicle emission engineering and testing in Europe. With the increasing concern over general atmospheric population as highlighted by the recent Royal Commission Report, the new Emission Laboratory clearly illustrates the complexity of controlling just one source of the current pollution problem - vehicle emissions.
Mr. Michael Westbrook who is in charge of the laboratory describes its operation.
SYNOPSIS: We at Ford, are concerned about the level of atmospheric pollution which currently exists, and it is our intention to reduce the exhaust emissions (from our cars) which will improve the situation certainly in the larger cities of the World.
To meet these requirements we have established this Exhaust Emission Laboratory.
This Laboratory cost one million pounds to build and enables us to test six vehicles simultaneously for the emissions from their exhausts.
When a car is brought into the laboratory for emission testing it is driven on to a set of rollers with which it is possible to simulate road conditions.
Preparations are made to start a test.
A pipe is connected to the exhaust, through a sample of the gas emitted during these running conditions can be taken.
The exhaust fumes are collected into a bag and mix with air to give a simulation of the polluted air which exists behind a car as it travels along.
Frequent checks are made on the accuracy of the instruments and to do this a large stock of bottles of gases with known exhaust contaminates is kept.
These gases are fed into the instruments at frequent intervals and checks are made that the instruments register correctly.
A fan is placed in front of the vehicle to simulate the effect of wind during normal driving (it is also necessary to keep the vehicle cool).
The engineer who is driving the car on the rollers has to follow a chart which indicates his speed and the time at which he should change gear.
It is necessary when he is driving for his to watch the chart and needle which follows it.
This simulates driving conditions in Los Angeles under heavy rush hour, high traffic density conditions, where pollution is at it worst.
The car is driven on the rollers through a sequence of operations including starting, stopping, running at various speeds, accelerating and slowing down.
Under these conditions the exhaust gases are sampled and collected in a bag.
During the test, which lasts for approximately 20 minutes, the gas collected in the bag is passed through various instruments which measure the constituents which case pollution.
these are the hydro carbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and the oxides of nitrogen.
On the chart you can see the levels of pollution being emitted during the operating cycle of the car.
The levels increase with acceleration and decrease with deceleration.
When the test finishes the trace is taken to the date analysis room where the trace is measured and simultaneously recorded upon punch cards.
These punch cards are fed into the computer and the results analysed enable improved engine design.
Each test car is driven 40,00 miles during which it returns 10 times to the laboratory, and analysed for any increased emission since the previous check.