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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

14 February 2020: The deadline for submitting paper offers for the SAE Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting to be held September 22-24, 2020 in Kraków, Poland has been extended to February 28th [more ...]

13 February 2020: For your reading pleasure, we have updated and refreshed two more Technology Guide papers on fuel injection: Fuel Injection for Clean Diesel Engines and Common Rail Fuel Injection System Components.

12 February 2020: A Finnish government report warns that the increasingly unsustainable economics of the oil industry may lead to a major disturbance in the global financial system and energy markets [more ...]

11 February 2020: Global CO2 emissions were unchanged at 33 Gt in 2019 even as the world economy expanded by 2.9%, according to data by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Emissions decreased in the EU, USA, and Japan, and increased by about the same amount in the rest of the world. The decrease of emissions in advanced economies was attributed to switching from coal to natural gas and renewables for power generation, milder weather compared with 2018, and weaker global economic growth. The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis—a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt. US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period. Energy-related CO2 emissions in the European Union, including the UK, dropped by 160 Mt, or 5%, to 2.9 Gt. The power sector drove the trend, with a decline of 120 Mt of CO2, or 12%, resulting from increasing renewables and switching from coal to gas. Emissions outside advanced economies grew by close to 400 Mt in 2019, with almost 80% of the increase coming from Asia.

7 February 2020: It is time to register for the 11th VERT Forum, to be held on March 18th at EMPA, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, in Dübendorf, Switzerland. And—if you work in the area of emissions and emission control—you can still submit a paper or poster offer for the 24th ETH Nanoparticle Conference that will take place in Zurich on June 22-25, 2020.

5 February 2020: The updated Business Page of Bosmal more accurately reflects their current engine, vehicle and vehicle components testing capabilities.

30 January 2020: Updated Technology Guide paper on Common Rail Fuel Injection—expanded sections on common rail system dynamics and on injector drift compensation.

29 January 2020: Mercedes-Benz software reflash for their Euro 5 diesels may not be very effective in reducing NOx, suggests a video by ZDF television (in German). Emissions Analytics (Nick Molden & Sam Boyle) tested a Euro 5 Mercedes car that belongs to Stefan Carstens (EngineSens), using a PEMS emissions analyzer in urban driving. They measured 715 mg/km NOx before the reflash. After the software update, NOx actually increased, reaching 764 and 792 mg/km (two tests). The Euro 5 NEDC NOx limit (which may or may not be applicable to real urban driving) is 180 mg/km.

27 January 2020: The recent report by Ricardo, commissioned and publicized by T&E—albeit from a different angle—actually shows that the tested Euro 6d-temp diesel cars were remarkably clean [more ...]

21 January 2020: A new study by University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS) and Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) prepared for the Global Maritime Forum (see also slides from Davos 2020) estimates that reducing carbon emissions from shipping by 50% would require an investment of $1 - $1.1 trillion between 2030 and 2050, or an average of $50bn to $70bn annually for 20 years. The biggest share of investments (87%) would be needed in the land-based infrastructure and production facilities for low carbon fuels. This “low carbon” fuel mix is dominated by ammonia, with almost 100% of the fleet using NH3 by 2050. Other fuel options include H2, CH3OH and LNG. By comparison, the conversion of the shipping fleet to run on ammonia is considered a minor undertaking—only 13% of the overall investments would be related to the ship machinery and onboard storage required for a ship to run on low carbon fuels. While aimed at reducing GHG emissions, the scheme does not appear particularly sustainable—it assumes a continuing increase in transport demand resulting in an increasing number of ships through 2050, and is guided by “a profit maximization approach” rather than by environmental sustainability principles. International shipping produces about 2.2% of global GHG emissions.

19 January 2020: An open letter by Dr. Andreas Mayer, in response to the “New diesels, new problems” report by Transport & Environment [more ...]

9 January 2020: Updated Technology Guide paper presenting the top level introduction to Alternative Fuels.

6 January 2020: The US EPA released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule (ANPR) soliciting pre-proposal comments on their Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) rulemaking [more ...]

21 December 2019: Updated Technology Guide papers on Waste Heat Recovery and Rankine Cycle Waste Heat Recovery.

18 December 2019: Added summary of European CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

17 December 2019: A summary of the technical sessions from the Integer Emissions Summit USA held on November 19-20, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana [more ...]

16 December 2019: In its latest annual coal market report, the International Energy Agency predicts that global coal demand will decline in 2019 but will remain broadly stable over the next five years, supported by robust growth in major Asian markets. The weakness in coal demand this year results mainly from coal-fired electricity generation, which is set to experience its largest ever decline—over 250 TWh, or more than 2.5%—led by double-digit falls in the United States and Europe. Coal remains a major fuel in global energy systems, accounting for almost 40% of electricity generation and more than 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions. In 2018, global coal production grew by 3.3%.

9 December 2019: IAV has developed a Rankine cycle waste heat recovery (WHR) system they claim is capable of utilizing significantly more waste heat from diesel engines compared to previous approaches. Simulation data suggests that 8.0 to 9.3% BSFC reduction is possible under some operating conditions compared to 3.3 to 3.6% with more conventional approaches [more ...]

5 December 2019: Updated Technology Guide paper on NOx Sensors includes a new section on FET-based sensors and other edits throughout the text.

4 December 2019: The European Environment Agency (EEA) released the European Environment—State and Outlook (SOER) 2020 report, a major assessment of the state of environment issued once every five years (see also The Guardian). Since the previous, 2015 edition of the report, the state of the environment has worsened and most of the 2020 targets will not be achieved. The EEA points out that the current crisis is not limited to climate change, but is a multi-faceted predicament that also includes biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, overconsumption of natural resources, and other factors. “To be clear, Europe will not achieve its sustainability vision of ‘living well, within the limits of our planet’ simply by promoting economic growth and seeking to manage harmful side-effects with environmental and social policy tools,” states the report. As Europe is reaching the limits of what could be achieved by gradual means—such as by gradual efficiency gains and small cuts to GHG emissions—the EEA is calling for urgent systemic solutions to meet future targets and ambitions.

29 November 2019: New Technology Guide paper discusses Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Engines.

27 November 2019: Summary of the technical sessions from the 17th FAD Conference held on 6-7 November 2019 in Dresden, Germany [more ...]

26 November 2019: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) published the 2019 edition of its annual Emissions Gap Report, which presents an assessment of the GHG emission reduction pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDC) under the Paris Agreement. The conclusions are consistent with those in the previous editions of the report: The current NDC pledges are insufficient to meet the Paris Agreement targets to keep global temperature rise this century to below 2°C, and preferably below 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels. If the current NDCs are implemented, the global mean temperature would still rise by about 3.2°C by 2100. The UNEP report estimates that to achieve the 1.5°C target, emissions would have to be reduced by 7.6% a year between 2020-2030. To achieve the 2°C target, emissions would have to be reduced by 2.7% a year. Assuming a continuing global economic growth, this level of emission reduction appears unlikely. For comparison, global CO2 emissions were reduced by just over 2% in 2009, as a result of the Global Financial Crisis and the economic slowdown that ensued, only to increase by 4.5% in 2010.

25 November 2019: Germany’s automobile industry is facing the existential threat of exceedingly strict European Union CO2 emission requirements, which are only seemingly grounded in environmental policy, warns Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn in an editorial in The Guardian. European emission regulations (as well as those in other countries) impose mandatory targets for tailpipe CO2 emissions—a metric that is not suitable for comparing electric powertrains with internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Electric vehicles also emit substantial amounts of CO2, the only difference being that emissions are released at the power plant. In addition, enormous amounts of fossil fuels are used to produce EV batteries in China and elsewhere, offsetting the supposed emissions reduction. By 2018, the average emissions of newly registered cars in the EU were slightly above 120 g/km, which is approximately twice the 2030 target (estimated at 59 g/km). The implication is that if an automaker’s production is split evenly between electric vehicles and ICE vehicles that conform to the present average, the 59 g/km target will be just within reach. If a company cannot produce electric vehicles and remains at the current average emissions level, it will have to pay a fine of about €6,000 per car. According to a recent study by Joanneum Research, a mid-sized electric passenger car in Germany must drive 219,000 km before it starts outperforming the corresponding diesel car in terms of CO2 emissions. The problem is that passenger cars in Europe last for only 180,000 km, on average. Worse, according to Joanneum, EV batteries don’t last long enough to achieve that distance in the first place. Unfortunately, drivers’ anxiety about the cars’ range prompts them to recharge their batteries too often, at every opportunity, and at a high speed, which is bad for durability. In comparisons based on the overall European energy mix, EVs tend to fare slightly better than diesels, due to the huge share of nuclear energy from France.

22 November 2019: The US EPA expects to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2020 for their Cleaner Trucks Initiative. A heavy-duty engine NOx emission standard between 0.015 and 0.030 g/bhp-hr and a heavy heavy-duty diesel engine useful life period of up to 850,000 miles/18 years are considered, effective from 2027 [more ...]

21 November 2019: The THIESEL Conference on Thermo- and Fluid Dynamic Processes in Direct Injection Engines to be held in Valencia, Spain, in September 2020 has issued a Call for Papers [more ...]

15 November 2019: Updated Technology Guide paper on Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) now covers variable valve duration, illustrated by the Hyundai CVVD technology.

14 November 2019: What is the long term potential of US shale resources? The “official” LTO production forecasts might underestimate the looming capital investment barrier faced by the industry [more ...]

9 November 2019: Feature: Liebherr’s SCRFilter emission technology for Stage V nonroad engines [more ...]

Diesel Engine & Emissions

The diesel engine is the most efficient power plant among all known types of internal combustion engines. Heavy trucks, urban buses, and industrial equipment are powered almost exclusively by diesel engines all over the world. For the foreseeable future, the world’s transportation needs will continue to rely on the diesel engine and its gasoline counterpart. However, both engine technologies have been evolving to meet two major challenges: lower emissions and increased energy efficiency.

Internal combustion engines are significant contributors to air pollution. In response, clean diesel technologies with near-zero emissions of NOx and PM have been developed and introduced in regions with the most stringent emission standards. As this trend spreads to other parts of the world, the environmental focus has shifted to climate changing emissions and energy efficiency. The environmental benefit of low greenhouse gas emissions, traditionally associated with the diesel engine, is no longer sufficient. To meet future greenhouse gas and fuel economy regulations, new technologies are being developed—low temperature combustion, waste heat recovery, powertrain electrification, to name a few—that further increase the efficiency not only of the diesel engine powertrain but the entire vehicle as well. Under low-carbon regulatory policies, the scope for potential improvements is no longer limited to engines and vehicles, but also includes life cycle effects of fuel production and vehicle manufacture.

DieselNet, the only information service exclusively devoted to internal combustion engines and emissions, is an internet knowledge base for technical and business information on diesel engines, fuels, emissions and technologies required by the clean and efficient diesel engines of the future.