New Emissions Testing Device

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Researches at the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M are figuring out ways to make the air we breathe cleaner. They're using a new device to measure emissions.

Vehicles are being monitored for emissions with a cutting edge testing device.

" This is a piece of equipment that allows us to do emissions measurement in the vehicle with the vehicle in actually use," said Dennis Perkinson with the Texas Transportation Institute.

Emissions testing is usually done in a laboratory, without the vehicle being in motion. But researchers say this portable monitoring system is a much better way to gage how much pollution is being sent into the air in real driving conditions.

" This type of device literally allows us to answer questions and to learn things that nobody knows at this time. Things you can do to have vehicles emits less, for example alternative fuels and we can test those options in real use," said Perkinson.

The device works by connecting a tube to the exhaust. Then a machine analyzes the types of pollutants and how much are being emitted. There is also a GPS which tracks the vehicles speed, altitude and road conditions.

The findings from TTI's studies will be used by several entities including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the U.S Department of energy, and car makers.

" This type of testing will show the car manufacturers what the impact would be when operating at high speeds and if it's not good they can probably go in and do some tweaks and fix those problems," said Joe Zietsman with Texas Transportation Institute.

College Station does not have a problem with pollution right now and this type of emissions testing will help keep it that way.

The emission testing device will be used in a range of vehicles from busses to tractor trailers, to hybrid vehicles.