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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

29 September 2022: A new Technology Guide paper provides a primer on Fuel Cells used for vehicle propulsion.

21 September 2022: The California Air Resources Board released the proposed In-Use Locomotive Regulation designed to reduce emissions from locomotives operating in California. CARB will conduct a public hearing to consider the proposed regulation on November 17, 2022 [more ...]

15 September 2022: Emission standards: Our updated summary of EU emission regulations for light-duty vehicles now includes fourteen sub-stages of the Euro 6 emission standards, from Euro 6a through Euro 6e-bis-FCM. We believe this is a reasonably complete listing at this time. The RDE testing summary has also been updated with the changes to RDE boundary conditions brought by the Euro 6e regulation.

6 September 2022: The SAE Heavy-Duty Diesel Symposium is coming back next year. The event is scheduled for May 3-4, 2023 in Gothenburg, Sweden [more ...]

31 August 2022: The 19th FAD Conference, “The Challenge—Exhaust Aftertreatment”, will take place on 3/4 November 2022 with an accompanying exhibition in Dresden, Germany. This year, the event will be held in person, with an option of online participation, and with simultaneous German/English translation. The focus areas for this year’s conference include strategies and approaches for achieving CO2-neutral mobility, as well as innovative engine and emission reduction concepts.

25 August 2022: It is still possible to register for the SAE Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Conference—to be held on September 6-8, 2022 in Kraków, Poland—and there are still some places for sponsorship and in the Technical Exhibition. The organizers tell us that the event will be most probably the best automotive/fuel related conference this year in Europe and perhaps globally. There are already 300+ registered participants from the USA, Japan, EU and other countries. Register now!

24 August 2022: The Technology Guide paper on Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines with Aftertreatment has been updated to account for the current heavy-duty engine technology by Navistar and Scania.

17 August 2022: Navistar unveiled the International® S13 Integrated Powertrain, developed over five years through global collaboration with other members of the Traton Group. The S13 engine introduces several innovative technologies such as a dual stage, dual dosing SCR catalyst system and uncooled EGR [more ...]

8 August 2022: The California Air Resources Board held today a public workgroup meeting to discus the development of Tier 5 emission standards for new off-road diesel engines. The topics included the development of a Low Load Cycle, emission credits for hybrid vehicles, GHG emissions standards, and small volume manufacturer provisions [more ...]

29 July 2022: A new Technology Guide paper on Hydrogen covers hydrogen manufacturing via electrolysis and other methods, life cycle GHG emissions, hydrogen storage, and its use in combustion engines.

26 July 2022: The United States became the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter during the first half of 2022. Compared with the second half of 2021, US LNG exports increased by 12% in the first half of 2022, averaging 11.2 billion cubic feet per day [more ...]

15 July 2022: VDMA and VSM released Power-to-X Roadmap for the Maritime Energy Transition which promotes the use of synthetic fuels produced using ‘green’ electric power to reduce CO2 emissions from the shipping sector and to meet ambitious climate protection targets. The energy transition would require an ‘effective CO2 pricing scheme’ to make climate-neutral fuels competitive and to raise investment funding. The Roadmap calls for some most ambitious intra-European CO2 emission reduction targets yet—30% by 2030, 50% by 2035, and 100% by 2045.

14 July 2022: STT Emtec has updated its DieselNet Business Page to reflect the current portfolio of emission control products and services—SCR control and dosing systems, marine SCR systems, and emission testing services.

8 July 2022: BP has released its Statistical Review of World Energy 2022. Primary energy demand increased by 5.8% in 2021, exceeding 2019 levels by 1.3%, while the rebound in economic growth caused an increase in CO2 emissions. While considerable new renewable energy capacity was added in 2021, the absolute growth in wind & solar power generation lagged behind the growth of coal & gas generation [more ...]

30 June 2022: In a move that casts doubt on the Biden administration’s climate goals, the US Supreme Court has restricted the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases from powerplants, siding with the coal mining industry and coal producing states [more ...]

29 June 2022: Summary of the technical sessions from the 25th ETH Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles that was held as an online event on June 21-23, 2022 [more ...]

24 June 2022: Officials from Germany and Britain will reportedly push for temporary waivers on biofuel mandates to fight rising food prices. The matter is to be discussed at the upcoming G7 meeting.

23 June 2022: Updated Technology Guide paper on Batteries, with more discussion on battery charging, lithium-sulfur batteries, and on battery prices.

22 June 2022: Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the German government will not agree to European Union plans to effectively ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035, according to Reuters. The European Commission proposal to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars by 100% by 2035 was backed earlier this month by the European Parliament. Speaking at an event hosted by Germany’s BDI industry association, Lindner said there would continue to be niches for combustion engines so a ban was wrong and the government would not agree to this European legislation.

14 June 2022: Our freshly updated Technology Guide paper on SCR Systems for Diesel Engines includes more discussion on the SCR-on-filter configuration and on low temperature performance of SCR systems.

11 June 2022: The US average gasoline price has exceeded $5 per gallon ($1.32 per liter) for the first time ever. The national average price of regular gasoline reached $5.004 today, up from $4.986 yesterday, according to AAA data. Diesel, at $5.765 per gallon, has also reached a new record. When prices are adjusted for inflation, however, costs were still higher in July 2008, when the average gasoline price reached $5.41 per gallon in 2022 dollars. The current rise in prices started after the 2020 lockdowns and accelerated in February 2022, driven by rising oil prices—a trend that has been exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict—as well as insufficient refining capacity due to refinery closures during the Covid-19 period.

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.