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Autofield Blog

Diesel Developments


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27. June 2013

Is the cup ~30% full or ~70% empty when it comes to clean diesel engines on Class 3-8 trucks?

The Diesel Technology Forum says that of the trucks on the road today, 28.6% are equipped with clean diesel technology, technology that allows the trucks to meet particulate emission levels of 0.01 grams per brake horsepower hour.

Starting in 2007, regulations were put in place that require vehicle manufacturers meet that number.

Said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum “Emissions from today’s diesel trucks and buses are near zero thanks to more efficient engines, more effective emissions control technology and the nationwide availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The new clean diesel technology has reduced emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses by 99% for nitrogen oxides and 98% for particulate emissions.”

Volvo VNL w D13-DME 2

Volvo Trucks offers DME fuel alternative model

Actually, the run up in the clean diesel trucks during the five year period is notable inasmuch as it takes time for any fleet to turn over to new equipment, and in light of the fact that the Great Recession, smack in the middle of the 2007-2012 period, wasn’t a Golden Age for sales of vehicles of any type.

Volvo Trucks has announced that it is going to be offering DME fuel capability for its D13 engine, which the company claims is the top-selling heavy-duty engine in the world.

DME?

It is a gaseous fuel that is used as an aerosol propellant in cosmetics and other household products that can be made from a variety of feedstocks, including biogas from food and animal waste and landfill. (It can also be made with natural gas.) When it is made with the biogas, it can provide a 95% CO2 reduction compared with diesel fuel.

DME has a high cetane number. It packages densely, so its tanks do not take up an inordinate amount of space on the frame. It is handled and stored like propane (it doesn’t require cryogenic handling). Tank pressures are just 75 psi. When it burns, no soot is produced, which means that the diesel particulate filter can be removed from the system.

No word from the cosmetology community on DME.

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