Diesel fuel has 10% to 15% more energy per gallon than gasoline. That means you can get more miles from a diesel engine, 35% more miles, than a gasoline engine. But isn't diesel dirty, polluting and terrible for the environment?
Clean diesel technology is making a difference to the way we think about diesel. It may provide some of the answers to transportation needs in an environmentally conscious world. Read on to learn how clean diesel technologies are changing the world.
What is Clean Diesel?
Clean Diesel is actually about far more than diesel fuel. It's about fuel, engines and emission controls too.
The combined effect of developments in these three areas has resulted in high energy efficiency. It's also reduced greenhouse gas emissions and resulted in cleaner air. So, clean diesel technologies combine to make a significant impact on global sustainability.
Clean Diesel Fuel Improvements
Sulfur is a key problem for fuels used in vehicles. Clean diesel has 97% less sulfur. This is the standard for off-road and on-road vehicles across the USA.
The ultra-low sulfur diesel reduces soot emissions by 10%. Before the 1970's, gasoline contained poisonous lead. Removing lead from gasoline was a step forward for public health.
Reducing particulates, such as soot, in the emissions from diesel fuels will also benefit public health. As well as the health benefits, the cleaner fuel makes it possible to have more advanced engines and emission control equipment.
Clean Diesel Engine Developments
Diesel engines ignite their fuel using compression. This is different from a gasoline engine which uses spark plugs. Developments in diesel engines have made them even more efficient.
Electronic controls and turbocharging are among the major improvements to the diesel engine. Improvements include common rail fuel injection and variable injection timing. Add to this better combustion chamber configuration.
These improvements have made engines quieter and increased power.
Emission Control Progress
Diesel has had a bad press in recent years, notably the Volkswagen "diesel-gate" scandal. This might lead the public to think, manufacturers have not been working to reduce emissions from diesel engines. This is not true.
The devices manufacturers fit to control emissions have been partly made possible by changes to the fuel and engines. The lower sulfur fuel, in particular, means that the exhaust gasses from the engine have reduced harmful emissions.
The improvements include oxidation catalysts and selective catalyst reduction with diesel exhaust fluid. Diesel particulate filters have improved as has exhaust gas recirculation.
Clean Diesel Technologies Benefits
In the USA clean diesel technologies have reduced NOx emissions by over 95%. Diesel engines are achieving almost zero emissions in nitrogen oxides and particulates.
With innovation in fuels using more renewable fuels, there will be further environmental benefits. Higher efficiency in engines means using less fuel. Better emission control reduces health hazards and greenhouse gases.
To learn more about diesel engines, click here.