Re: article on epa and clean diesel: no insurmountable technological barriers
>AFAIK, older engines won't be able to run it without a retrofit ofThis helps clear up some of my thinking, but only partly. BTW, I
>some kind - or simply by adding 2% biodiesel to the fuel, solving the
>low lubricity problem. The biodiesel industry guys see this as a big
>opening for biodiesel. Then, with very low sulphur levels in the fuel
>(and none in the biodiesel) the way is open for using emissions
>control gear without poisoning the catalyst. I think that also
>removes the current barriers to the clean and efficient Euro diesels
>CARB's Lloyd talks of (and us).
didn't know there were such problems with catalyst control gear on
diesel engines. Does this mean there haven't been any, or simply that
they've been there but have generally been poisoned (have longevity
If I understood the one or two previous posts I read on this matter,
there is an "intermediate" level of fuel-cleaning available which
would not cause as much need (if any?) to retrofit or change diesel
engine setup, and this would, in the opinion of some clean-diesel
advocates, be a better transitionary phase than simply switching to
the lowest PPM sulfur standards, perhaps because it would cause less
disruption. Thus, you'd have less upheaval in terms of engine
warranty debates, costs of retrofitting, costs of integrating a
lubricity cure, etc.
I am not saying what my opinion is, just trying to flesh out my
understanding of this.
If the ULSD 2006 requirements require a modest level of retrofitting
to run in all older diesel engines, then that would certainly be, at
minimum, one heck of a big project, particularly for truckers,
construction, farmers, etc?
This perennial tug-and-pull between fuel-maker and engine-maker, with
a lot of finger-pointing as to who should take the leadership roll,
and so forth, is a theme I've seen played-out before. I think the
consensus presented to me is that not much gets done unless *both*
fuel maker and engine maker cooperate. Most of the cleaner-engine
efforts seem predicated on some cleaner fuel. And this seems somewhat
paralleled by one or two of the large Diesel makers now being fined
because they've failed to come out with sufficiently cleaner engines,
I think. I bet they'd have found it easier if they could have banked
on cleaner fuel. Not that they shouldn't have been able to make some
progress with the sufficient notice that they got, but it's a
two-way-street, this engine-maker-fuel-maker thing.
This was specified recently in a presentation I saw at UC Riverside
(Lloyd spoke briefly, by the way). Honda, which has done amazing
things in cleaning up gasoline engine emissions, made clear that
without the special California cleaner gas, some or all of their SULEV
achievements would not be possible. I don't think they implied that
their SULEV cars would falter horribly on normal gas, just that the
super-clean test results would not be possible, and so they emphasized
that they needed that cleaner gas. Because of the
boutique-gas-too-many-types-available-around-the-country problem, and
probably for other reasons, I'm not sure how consistently available
this important fuel is outside of some areas. On this point, by the
way, I don't think the Bush administration has been bad. I seem to
recall one of their proposals, perhaps in relation to the ethanol
debate, ostensibly was oriented to try and reduce the number of
boutique mixtures around (although, obviously, many oil makers
aregoing to use that as a pretext to shut out innovations or mixtures
they find inconvenient).
And so Texaco was present as well and the achievements were presented
as a matter of teamwork.
A mostly-unspoken part of the day was the sad fact that EV's, which
were quite popular amongst a portion of the very few who got to drive
them, were essentially not part of the day, conspicuously shut out of
the discussion for anyone who was looking for them, and that their
emissions at the point of the car are essentially zero (though, to be
meticulous, I suppose there could be minute emissions during charging
and-or running, and of course there are the power-plant emissions
issues). There were 25 or so Honda EV+ vehicles present on the UC
Riverside campus (it was hard to keep track).
There was also some evidence of biofuel and diesel research.