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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

7 December 2022: Registration is now open for the SAE 2023 Heavy-Duty Diesel Sustainable Transport Symposium, coming to Gothenburg, Sweden May 3-4, 2023. Back after 5 years, this symposium will provide insights into the regulatory landscape, state-of-the-art technologies, emission control strategies and more. Review the technical program, mark your calendars to attend and register today!

2 December 2022: IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2022 report finds that energy efficiency actions have accelerated globally in 2022 as governments and consumers have turned to efficiency measures in response to fuel supply disruptions and record-high energy prices. In 2022, the global economy used energy 2% more efficiently than it did in 2021—a rate of improvement almost four times that of the past two years, and almost double the rate of the past five years. At the same time, global energy demand growth has declined sharply and is expected to be close to 1% this year.

23 November 2022: The Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) seeks an industry professional with experience in the emissions, energy, and environmental policy fields. The position involves issues surrounding climate and clean air policy as well as the role of diesel, other internal combustion engines, and cleaner fuels. To learn more about this opportunity email dtf@dieselforum.org.

22 November 2022: Weichai has launched the world’s first commercial diesel engine with base engine’s thermal efficiency of 52.28% and natural gas engine with base engine’s thermal efficiency of 54.16% [more ...].

15 November 2022: Global coal consumption saw a strong rebound in 2021, taking coal demand very close to an all-time high, according to a new report, Coal in Net Zero Transitions, released today by the IEA. Coal‐fired powerplants provided 36% of global electricity generation in 2021, accounting for 65% of global coal consumption, and emitted 10.5 Gt of CO2, or 29% of energy‐related CO2 emissions. Coal use in the industry sector is old as industry itself, increasing throughout the 20th century. Coal demand in industry doubled between 2000 and 2021 to 1,630 million tonnes of coal equivalent (Mtce). Coal was the largest single source of CO2 emissions in the industry sector at 4 Gt CO2 in 2021. The IEA expects global coal demand to increase further in 2022 and decline steeply thereafter.

10 November 2022: The EU Commission proposed Euro 7/VII emission standards that would come into force from July 2025 for cars and vans and from July 2027 for trucks and buses. The proposal includes updated limits for pollutant emissions, a broadened range of driving conditions that are covered by emissions tests, extended emission durability periods (200,000 km for light-duty vehicles), as well as first-ever limits for particulate emissions from brakes and rules on microplastic emissions from tires [more ...].

9 November 2022: The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects that low inventories of middle distillate fuels, which are primarily consumed as diesel fuel, heating oil, and jet fuel, will lead to high prices through early 2023. In its Short Term Energy Outlook, the EIA forecasts that diesel prices will remain higher than $5 per gallon for the remainder of the year, and bills for homes that use heating oil will increase by 45% this winter season compared with last winter. US distillate fuels inventories average 17% below the five-year average, and finished October at their lowest levels in any October since 1951.

28 October 2022: The European Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on stricter CO2 emission performance standards for new cars and vans. A 100% CO2 emission reduction target is to become effective from 2035, representing an actual ban on the sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles [more ...]

27 October 2022: The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2022. The IEA expects fossil fuel consumption to peak within about a decade, accelerated by the global energy crisis and the Ukraine conflict. For the first time ever, the IEA WEO scenario based on the current government policies (now called Stated Policies Scenario, STEPS) includes a peak or plateau for every fossil fuel—beginning with coal in the next few years, natural gas by the end of this decade, and oil in the mid-2030s.

26 October 2022: If countries fulfill their current climate commitments (Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, global greenhouse gas emissions will increase by 10.6% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, according to the UN 2022 NDC Synthesis Report released today.

25 October 2022: Due to the rising cost for energy and raw materials, the EU Commission plans to propose a relaxed version of their Euro 7 emission standards for light-duty vehicles, according to a text that was apparently leaked to the media. The NOx and PM emission standards for petrol vehicles will not or only be slightly tightened compared to the current Euro 6 limits, while diesel cars would have to meet the same standards as petrol vehicles. However, the leaked text also provides that the Commission can independently tighten limit values, boundary conditions, and test procedures over a period of five years—without the control of member states or the Parliament. The Commission plans to present its Euro 7/VII proposal on November 9th.

24 October 2022: Technology Guide: More discussion has been added on turbocharger efficiency and turbocharging efficiency. The updated papers include Turbocharger Fundamentals and Efficiency Technologies.

19 October 2022: Two related studies by teams from the EU JRC and from Corning have evaluated emissions from Euro VI-E diesel trucks—arguably, the cleanest truck generation on the planet, with NOx and particle emissions controlled to very low levels and tested both in the laboratory and in real-world driving. While the results showed high efficiencies of the DOC, DPF, and SCR under most testing conditions, cold start cycles resulted in high NOx emissions, while high-temperature cycles resulted in high particle emissions. The measurements also revealed the formation of SPN10 emissions over the SCR catalyst, at a rate of ~1.2 × 1011 #/kWh, which is above the anticipated Euro VII limit of 1011 #/kWh. The authors propose that these emissions be controlled using a second DPF unit downstream of the SCR.

13 October 2022: The long-awaited Euro 7/VII proposal has been postponed again, according to media reports. It is now expected on November 9th. In another regulatory delay, the EU Commission will not present its proposal for CO2 fleet targets for trucks (a.k.a. combustion engine phase-out for trucks) on November 30th as planned. Now the proposal is expected in the first months of 2023. The proposal for the Clean Air Directive is still scheduled for October 26th.

7 October 2022: ACEA has revised its initial forecast that the EU car market would return to growth in 2022. Instead it expects that it will shrink again this year, slipping by 1% to 9.6 million units. Compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic figures, this represents a drop of 26% in car sales in the space of just three years. So far, the market was only constrained on the supply side, by the ongoing component shortages. However, demand may also suffer over the coming months due to inflation and fears of recession.

6 October 2022: Oil exporting countries participating at the OPEC+ meeting in Vienna yesterday decided to reduce the overall oil output quota by 2 million barrels per day (b/d), or about 2% of the global oil consumption, starting in November 2022. In practical terms, OPEC+ oil output can be expected to decrease by no more than about 1 million b/d, due to the output quota reductions for Saudi Arabia and Russia of 526,000 b/d each. Other OPEC countries have already been producing below their November targets and will not be affected by the reductions. OPEC+ oil production fell a whopping 3.6 million b/d below its target in August, with the gap widening from 2.9 million b/d in July.

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 ...]

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.