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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

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 ...]

28 June 2022: BP 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. DieselNet will have a more detailed summary once we digest the wealth of data in the report.

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.

9 June 2022: The European Parliament has voted for a EU fleet-wide target to reduce tailpipe CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans by 100% by 2035, which would constitute an effective ban on the sale of new vehicles powered by combustion engines [more ...]

6 June 2022: US President Biden declared an energy emergency for the nation, as potential shortfalls in power generation threaten the quality of life, the economy, and national security. The Declaration of Emergency states, “Multiple factors are threatening the ability of the United States to provide sufficient electricity generation to serve expected customer demand. These factors include disruptions to energy markets caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. For example, in parts of the country, drought conditions coupled with heatwaves are simultaneously causing projected electricity supply shortfalls and record electricity demand. As a result, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation have both warned of near-term electricity reliability concerns in their recent summer reliability assessments.” To ensure adequate power generation, the emergency declaration promotes the installation of more solar capacity, and introduces a two-year import duty exemption for solar panels from four countries in Southeast Asia that provide some 75% of all solar modules installed in the United States.

2 June 2022: The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) has filed a lawsuit against the California Air Resources Board, alleging that the agency’s low NOx emission standards for heavy-duty engines fail to provide manufacturers with legally-required minimum four years of leadtime [more ...]

29 May 2022: The Business Page of 3DATX has been updated with information on parSYNC® FLEX—the newest addition to the line of 3DATX mini-PEMS emission analyzers.

27 May 2022: Updates in the Technology Guide paper on Oil Service Classifications cover the recent revisions to the ACEA Oil Sequences.

25 May 2022: The updated Business Page of Johnson Matthey features the current stationary emissions control portfolio, including NOx catalysts, oxidation catalysts, diesel particulate filters, and exhaust monitors.

19 May 2022: Registrations are now open for the SAE Powertrains, Fuels & Lubricants Conference to be held on September 6-8, 2022 in Kraków, Poland. This year, the Conference returns as an in-person event after being held as a digital summit the past two years. The meeting brings together OEMs, suppliers, researchers, engineers, government officials, and academia from around the world to discuss emerging technologies to meet emission regulations, while delivering the best powertrain performance.

11 May 2022: The California Air Resources Board released a draft climate plan that calls for a drastic reduction in the use of fossil fuels to achieve ‘carbon neutrality’ by 2045 [more ...]

28 April 2022: A summary of technical sessions on engine and emission technology from the SAE WCX 2022 Congress that was held on April 5-7, 2022 in Detroit [more ...]

13 April 2022: A new Technology Guide paper provides a primer on Hybrid-Electric Vehicles, covering hybrid drivetrain configurations and the effects of hybridization on fuel economy and emissions in light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

12 April 2022: New data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows that atmospheric levels of methane recorded the largest annual increase ever observed in 2021, while carbon dioxide continued to increase at historically high rates [more ...]

7 April 2022: Canada approves the Bay du Nord deepwater oil project offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, to be led by Norway’s Equinor [more ...]

6 April 2022: Presentation slides from the 12th VERT Forum that was held virtually on March 24th 2022 can now be downloaded from the VERT website.

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.