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DieselNet: Engines, Fuels, Energy & Clean Transportation Technology

Engines & clean transportation technology—since 1997

The Log

12 April 2024: The European Parliament has approved a mandatory target to reduce CO2 emissions from new trucks by 90% by 2040 [more ...]

5 April 2024: Decreasing human-made aerosols—such as due to the reduction of sulfur content in marine fuels—increased Earth’s energy imbalance and accelerated global warming in the past decade, according to a communication by Dr. James E. Hansen of the Columbia University [more ...]

4 April 2024: Fuel regulations: Added summary of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).

29 March 2024: The US Environmental Protection Agency announced final Phase 3 GHG emission standards for model year 2027-2032 heavy-duty vehicles [more ...]

20 March 2024: US EPA finalized the GHG emission standards and Tier 4 criteria pollutant emission standards for MY 2027 through 2032 and later light- and medium-duty vehicles [more ...]

14 March 2024: A new study published in Nature suggests that methane emissions from US oil and gas operations may be much higher than official estimates. Researchers from Stanford University and Kairos Aerospace integrated about one million measurements conducted over 15 aerial campaigns for six regions in the USA. Total estimated emissions ranged from 0.75% of covered natural gas production in a high-productivity, gas-rich region to 9.63% in a rapidly expanding, oil-focused region. The six-region weighted average was 2.95%, or roughly three times the national government inventory estimate.

14 March 2024: In another step toward finalizing the Euro 7 emission regulation, European Parliament formally adopted the Euro 7 deal reached with the Council in December 2023. A human-readable summary of this agreement has been published by the ICCT.

13 March 2024: The US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation released the National Zero-Emission Freight Corridor Strategy to coordinate and increase investments in zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicle (ZE-MHDV) fueling infrastructure—including electric vehicle charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure—to achieve a zero-emission freight network by 2040 [more ...]

12 March 2024: Fuel regulations: Added summary of the US Renewable Fuel Standard.

9 March 2024: A new Technology Guide paper, titled Alcohol Fueled Engines, covers ethanol and methanol fueled engines, including compression ignition, pilot ignition, and spark-ignited engines.

7 March 2024: Emitec Technologies—now on DieselNet—develops and manufactures advanced metallic catalyst substrates and electrically heated catalysts.

6 March 2024: SAE International issued a Call for Papers for the Energy & Propulsion Conference (formerly the Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Meeting) to be held on November 12-14, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. Submit your paper abstract by April 9, 2024 [more ...]

27 February 2024: Apple is cancelling a decade-long effort to build an electric car, reports Bloomberg. The company is winding down its multibillion-dollar Project Titan—the development of a fully autonomous electric vehicle with a limousine-like interior and voice-guided navigation.

19 February 2024: In an election-year concession to labor unions and auto executives, the US EPA will relax their proposed GHG emission standards for MY 2027-2032 light-duty vehicles, according to the New York Times and to Reuters. Under the initial proposal, the EPA aimed to reach an EV share of new vehicle sales of 60% by 2030, and 64-67% by 2032. Now, a sharp increase in EV sales would be delayed until after 2030, but no further details have been provided. The final rule is expected as soon as next month.

16 February 2024: Engine Technology Forum—now on DieselNet—is an industry group dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the benefits of internal combustion engines, fuels, and technologies. It was formerly known as the Diesel Technology Forum.

12 February 2024: US oil and gas company Diamondback Energy agreed to buy privately held rival Endeavor Energy in $26 billion cash-and-stock deal, in another sign of a rapid consolidation in the US shale oil sector [more ...]

6 February 2024: Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at Mauna Loa, Hawaii reached 422.80 ppm—an increase of 3.32 ppm from January 2023, which looks like a record high annual growth rate. Needless to say, methane and nitrous oxide concentrations have both reached record high levels as well.

31 January 2024: Volvo Trucks is introducing a new 17-liter diesel engine for its FH16 truck. With up to 780 hp and 3,800 Nm of torque, the new D17 is the strongest engine in the industry [more ...]

24 January 2024: The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its Electricity 2024 report, the latest edition of the IEA’s annual analysis of electricity market developments and policies. The report finds that while global growth in electricity demand eased slightly to 2.2% in 2023 due to falling electricity consumption in advanced economies, it is projected to accelerate to an average of 3.4% from 2024 through 2026. About 85% of the increase in the world’s electricity demand through 2026 is expected to come from outside advanced economies—most notably China, India and countries in Southeast Asia. Electricity demand in the European Union’s industrial sector fell by an estimated 6% in 2023 after a similar decline in 2022. EU electricity demand growth is forecast to rise by an average 2.3% in 2024-26, driven by electric vehicles, heat pumps, and data centers. Electricity prices for energy-intensive industries in the EU in 2023 were almost double those in the United States and China.

23 January 2024: Joe Kaeser, the chairman of Siemens Energy, a leading wind turbine maker, has warned energy bills will have to keep rising to pay for the green transition as he attacked “fairytale” thinking about net zero. Higher energy bills are inevitable as turbine makers grapple with huge losses, forcing them to pass on costs to their customers. Speaking at the WEF in Davos, Mr Kaeser also seemed exasperated about the lack of direction in energy policy. “There’s just now, every week, every month, another debate about something,” he said. “Do you bring nuclear back, or that or this? And this is what causes friction. Uncertainty is great, but I have enough uncertainty already.”

19 January 2024: The EU Council and Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, with a target of 90% emission reduction from new trucks and coaches by 2040 [more ...]

13 January 2024: The US Justice Department, US EPA, and California authorities released the details of a proposed settlement with Cummins for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and California law. Under the settlement, Cummins must replace the engine control software in hundreds of thousands of RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 pickup trucks equipped with the company’s 6.7 L diesel engines, extend the warranty period for certain parts in the affected vehicles, and fund projects to mitigate excess NOx emitted from the vehicles. Details of the alleged defeat devices and their effects on emissions were not explained in the consent decrees and remain unclear [more ...]

11 January 2024: Global oil consumption hit another record in 2023, reaching 101.1 million barrels per day (b/d), slightly exceeding the 2019 peak of 101.0 million b/d—according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA predicts oil consumption (“crude oil and other liquids,” which include natural gas plant liquids) will further increase to 102.5 million b/d in 2024 and 103.7 million b/d in 2025.

9 January 2024: US EPA announced nearly $1 billion in awards for clean school buses. The funding will help school districts in 37 states to purchase over 2,700 buses, 95% of which will be battery electric vehicles [more ...]

Engines & Emissions

The internal combustion engine (ICE) has been a key prime mover that largely replaced earlier prime movers of lesser efficiency—human labor, animal work, the water wheel, the windmill, and the steam engine—thus enabling modern industrial civilization. The most efficient type of ICE, the diesel engine, has been widely used in heavy trucks, construction and agricultural machinery, rail locomotives, ships, and emergency power generation. Its gasoline counterpart has been common in passenger cars. Another related power plant, the gas turbine, has been powering commercial aviation.

For many years, engine developers have been striving to make engines cleaner. Following the three-way catalyst for gasoline engines, clean diesel technologies that enabled near-zero emissions of PM and NOx were developed and introduced in many regions of the world. The focus in technology development has then shifted to climate change and energy efficiency. The benefit of low CO2 emissions, traditionally associated with the diesel engine, is no longer sufficient to meet GHG and fuel economy regulations. New technologies are being developed—such as new combustion techniques, powertrain electrification, and waste heat recovery—that further increase the efficiency not only of the engine itself, but of the entire vehicle. Critically, as GHG emissions occur at all stages of vehicle life, from manufacture through disposal, low-carbon policies must consider life cycle effects of fuels and vehicles.

A major challenge ahead is the approaching end of the Oil Age—not only due to climate policies, but for economic reasons stemming from the depletion of easily recoverable oil resources. As fossil fuels are replaced by alternatives of lesser energetic quality, the future of mobility remains largely unknown. While the world aims to embrace more sustainable mobility, most alternative powertrain technologies depend on quantities of rare and nonrenewable natural resources, and therefore are not truly sustainable. Another often suggested approach—that of fueling the ICE by low-carbon e-fuels—suffers from low efficiency and would require substantial amounts of energy, which seems problematic in an economy that no longer has access to cheap and abundant fossil energy. All this suggests that future mobility will be based on a mix of powertrain technologies, where combustion engines continue to play an important role.

DieselNet—initially an information service on diesel engines and emissions—evolved over the decades to become the central internet resource for technical and business information related to all types of internal combustion engines, their fuels, emissions, and the technologies required by the clean and efficient engines of the future.