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Re: article on epa and clean diesel: no insurmountable technological barriers

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  • murdoch
    ... This helps clear up some of my thinking, but only partly. BTW, I didn t know there were such problems with catalyst control gear on diesel engines. Does
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 2, 2002
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      >AFAIK, older engines won't be able to run it without a retrofit of
      >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).

      This helps clear up some of my thinking, but only partly. BTW, I
      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.

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