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Exhaust gas or flue gas is emitted as a result of the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, gasoline (petrol), diesel fuel, fuel oil, biodiesel blends,[1] or coal. According to the type of engine, it is discharged into the atmosphere through an exhaust pipe, flue gas stack, or propelling nozzle. It often disperses downwind in a pattern called an exhaust plume.

It is a major component of motor vehicle emissions (and from stationary internal combustion engines), which can also include:

  • Crankcase blow-by
  • Evaporation of unused gasoline

Motor vehicle emissions contribute to air pollution and are a major ingredient in the creation of smog in some large cities. A 2013 study by MIT indicates that 53,000 early deaths occur per year in the United States alone because of vehicle emissions.[2] According to another study from the same university, traffic fumes alone cause the death of 5,000 people every year just in the United Kingdom.[3]

Composition

The largest part of most combustion gas is nitrogen (N2), water vapor (H2O) (except with pure-carbon fuels), and carbon dioxide (CO2) (except for fuels without carbon); these are not toxic or noxious (although water vapor and carbon dioxide are greenhouse gases that contribute to motor vehicle emissions (and from stationary internal combustion engines), which can also include:

Motor vehicle emissions contribute to air pollution and are a major ingredient in the creation of smog in some large cities. A 2013 study by MIT indicates that 53,000 early deaths occur per year in the United States alone because of vehicle emissions.[2] According to another study from the same university, traffic fumes alone cause the death of 5,000 people every year just in the United Kingdom.[3]