Table 6.3. Compressed CO cylinder sizes Vehicle Exhaust Gas
Carbon Monoxide is produced as an exhaust gas from internal combustion engines. The concentration of the monoxide in the exhaust gas varies, depending on a number of factors and establishing this is critical.
Carbon Monoxide is produced by a chemical reaction that occurs when the formic acid (HCOOH) is broken down into water (H2
O) and carbon monoxide (CO). The catalyst for this
breakdown is concentrated sulphuric acid. The sulphuric acid remains chemically unchanged but is diluted by the water released.
Monoxide generation ceases when all of the formic acid is broken down, or when the sulphuric acid becomes too dilute to catalyze the reaction. Heat is generated in the reaction and this can lead to traces of formic and sulphuric acid in the emerging carbon monoxide. One mole of formic acid (46gm) will produce ~22 litres of carbon monoxide.