volume: 39, issue: 1
In addition to safety, small hand-operated forestry machines can be criticised for affecting the
operators’ health, especially because of high levels of exhaust gas emissions, noise and vibrations.
In this study, gas emissions, noise and hand-arm vibrations (HAV) levels have been measured
on chainsaws, hedge cutters and blowers fuelled with two different types of fuel: a commercial
RON 95 gasoline with the addition of 2% of synthetic oil suitable for two-stroke engines and,
as an alternative, a specific advanced mixture available on the market, based on alkylate gasoline.
For two different running conditions, i.e. with the engine at idle speed and when executing a
typical working routine (maximum speed with load), tests were carried out for:
Þ gas emissions, using a gas analyser, for measuring the volatile organic compounds (VOC)
Þ noise, using a sound level meter, to record the levels at both of the operator’s ears
Þ HAV, using a tri-axial accelerometer fixed on the handgrip(s) of the machines.
The results demonstrated that, when using the alkylate fuel, the VOC emissions were reduced,
in the considered machines, from 23 to over 77%, while for noise and HAV, the differences in
level were not statistically significant. The present study confirms that the reduction in the
amount of emissions can be remarkably improved by adopting advanced fuels that lead to a
more efficient combustion process.