Forest Trail

Glossary

19 results found for

O

Octane Number

A numerical measure of the antiknock properties of gasoline used as a motor fuel. The higher the octane number, the greater the antiknock properties.

Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)

A department within the California Environmental Protection Agency that is responsible for evaluating chemicals for adverse health impacts and establishing safe exposure levels. OEHHA also assists in performing health risk assessments and developing risk assessment procedures for air quality management purposes. Visit the OEHHA's home page.

Acronyms:
OEHHA
Offsets

Offsets are tradable credits that represent greenhouse gas emissions reductions that are made in areas or sectors not covered by a cap-and-trade program. Under a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, covered entities could buy offset credits in lieu of buying allowances or reducing their greenhouse gas emissions on-site. One offset credit would be equal to one metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Offsets must meet rigorous criteria that demonstrate that the emissions reductions are real, permanent, verifiable, enforceable and quantifiable.

Olefin

A class of unsaturated hydrocarbons having the general formula CnH2n. Olefins in gasoline are responsible for the formation of deposits in storage tanks, fuel ducts and injectors. Therefore, their volume is limited by the reformulated gasoline regulation.

On-Road, On-Road Vehicle

Vehicles that are intended by their manufacturer for use on public highways. On-road vehicles must be certified by their manufacturer with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), as compliant with on-highway safety standards as well as certified to all applicable ARB and U.S. EPA on-road emission standards. Compliance with these standards is indicated by separate safety and emissions labels on the vehicle.

Onboard Diagnostics (OBD)

Devices that are incorporated into the computer systems of new motor vehicles to monitor components and systems that affect emissions when malfunctioning. If a problem is detected, the OBD system illuminates a warning lamp on the vehicle instrument panel to alert the driver. This warning lamp typically contains the phrase Check Engine or Service Engine Soon. The system will also store important information about the detected malfunction so that a repair technician can accurately find and fix the problem. For more information, visit our on-board diagnostics website.

Acronyms:
OBD
Onboard Vapor Recovery

Devices placed on vehicles to capture gasoline vapor during refueling and then route the vapors to the engine when the vehicle is started so that they can be efficiently burned.

Opacity

The amount of light obscured by particle pollution in the atmosphere. Opacity is used as an indicator of changes in performance of particulate control systems.

Organic Compounds

A large group of chemical compounds containing mainly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. All living organisms are made up of organic compounds.

Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)

The OCS is all submerged lands lying seaward of state coastal waters (3 miles offshore) which are under U.S. jurisdiction.

Acronyms:
OCS
Oxidant

A substance that brings about oxidation in other substances. Oxidizing agents (oxidants) contain atoms that have suffered electron loss. In oxidizing other substances, these atoms gain electrons. Ozone, which is a primary component of smog, is an example of an oxidant.

Oxidation

The chemical reaction of a substance with oxygen or a reaction in which the atoms in an element lose electrons and its valence is correspondingly increased.

Oxygenate

An organic molecule that contains oxygen. Oxygenates are typically ethers and alcohols. The most common oxygenate is ethanol in gasoline, which now runs about 10 percent by volume. The purpose of the oxygenate is to help the gasoline burn more completely, reducing carbon monoxide emissions. This is especially important during the winter months.

Ozone

A strong smelling, pale blue, reactive toxic chemical gas consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is a product of the photochemical process involving the sun's energy and ozoneprecursors, such as hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. Ozone exists in the upper atmosphere ozone layer (stratospheric ozone) as well as at the Earth's surface in the troposphere (ozone). Ozone in the troposphere causes numerous adverse healtheffects and is a criteria air pollutant. It is a major component of smog.

Ozone Depletion

The reduction in the stratospheric ozone layer. Stratospheric ozone shields the Earth from ultraviolet radiation. The breakdown of certain chlorine and/or bromine-containing compounds that catalytically destroy ozone molecules in the stratosphere can cause a reduction in the ozone layer. For more information, go to U.S. EPA's website on this subject.

Ozone Generator

Some indoor "air purifiers" or air cleaners emit ozone, a major component of outdoor smog, either intentionally or as a by-product of their design. Those that intentionally emit ozone are often called "ozone generators."

Ozone Layer

A layer of ozone in the lower portion of the stratosphere -- 12 to 15 miles above the Earth's surface -- which helps to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. It may be contrasted with the ozone component of photochemical smog near the Earth's surface, which is harmful.

Ozone Precursors

Chemicals such as non-methane hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, occurring either naturally or as a result of human activities, which contribute to the formation of ozone, a major component of smog.

Ozone-Forming Potential

(See Reactivity.)