A wide range of different technologies are employed to reduce smog forming emissions. Catalytic converters for example use the waste heat in the exhaust to energize a ceramic/ metal “sponge” of catalysts metals that break down many of the toxic emissions into their non-toxic constituent chemical parts, facilitating post combustion reaction completion and chemical reduction of noxious emissions species like NOX, CO, VOC and SOX. In this regard STAR stations are ready for help and assistance.
The US Clean Air act was pivotal for the development of emissions reduction technology. Robust scientific and technological development in emissions control systems resulted from government policies derived from the clean air act “pushing” industry to clean up. Public policy can be a major source of inspiration for the private sector. Public policy that rewards “positive” business practices tends to be far more effective than public policy that punishes “bad” business practices. Automakers were given all sorts of positive incentives to develop effective and durable emissions controls technologies, and they did. Modern cars are at least two orders of magnitude cleaner than the carbureted gas guzzlers of 50 years ago. At STAR stations you can even upgrade and bring up to date your older cars to the standard accepted by the law.
Sadly much of the innovation gained in engine design was applied to making engines more powerful, rather than making them more fuel efficient. A 2.4L 4 cylinder engine from a 2012 vehicle makes as much power and torque as a 4.0L engine from the early 1990’s: while releasing dramatically less smog forming emissions. Despite impressive refinements of engine design, most vehicles still only achieve poor fuel economy (around 23MPG real world). This is partially due to the fact that vehicles are much larger today than they were in the past. As the American people have become larger, so have our vehicles. So the innovations in engine design have been “eaten” up by making smaller more powerful motors that pull larger vehicles: while the fuel economy remains relatively unchanged. In engineering you cannot get something for nothing, and all of the rewards gained in engine innovation were applied to increasing power output, durability, and cleaner emissions in smaller engines.
Modern vehicle emission control systems combine catalyst technology with vapor recovery, advanced engine control, precise fuel control, variable valve control, air injection, and re-circulation technology.
Technologies that rapidly heat up the engine help to reduce cold start emissions (some of the worst). Particulate filtering technology is applied to modern “clean” diesel vehicles. Variable valve timing, direct injection, displacement reduction combined with turbo-charging: there are a number of technologies and methods that automakers are using to improve fuel economy while also reducing emissions. But if you cannot afford to keep up with the changing trend of auto-modernization, you can benefit from the services provided by STAR stations, since they are equipped with the latest testing devices and therefore ready to assist you in upgrading your vehicle.