Natural Gas Variability in California: Environmental Impacts and Device Performance - Experimental Evaluation of Pollutant Emissions from Residential Appliances

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The effect of liquefied natural gas on pollutant emissions was evaluated experimentally with used and new appliances in the laboratory and with appliances installed in residences, targeting information gaps from previous studies. Burner selection targeted available technologies that are projected to comprise the majority of installed appliances over the next decade. Experiments were conducted on 13 cooktop sets, 12 ovens, 5 broiler burners, 5 storage water heaters, 4 forced air furnaces, 1 wall furnace, and 6 tankless water heaters. Air‐free concentrations and fuel‐based emission factors were determined for carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, nitrogen dioxide, and the number of (predominantly ultrafine) particles over complete burns—including transient effects (device warm‐up and intermittent firing of burners) following ignition—and during more stable end‐of‐burn conditions. Formaldehyde was measured over multi‐burn cycles. The baseline fuel was Northern California line gas with Wobbe number (a measure of fuel energy delivery rate) of 1320–1340; test fuels had Wobbe numbers of roughly 1390 and 1420, and in some cases 1360. No ignition or operational problems were observed during test fuel use. Baseline emissions varied widely across and within burner groups and with burner operationalmode. Statistically significant emissions changes were observed for some pollutants on some burners.

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