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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

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.

24 March 2022: Only three percent of cities and no single country met the latest World Health Organization’s PM2.5 annual air quality guideline, according to the 2021 World Air Quality Report by the Swiss air quality technology company iQAir [more ...]

17 March 2022: The prospect of large-scale disruptions to Russian oil production is threatening to create a global oil supply shock, according to the IEA Oil Market Report. The IEA estimates that from April, 3 mb/d of Russian oil output could be shut in as sanctions take hold and buyers shun exports. Only Saudi Arabia and the UAE hold substantial spare capacity that could immediately help to offset a Russian shortfall. Surging oil and commodity prices, if sustained, will have a marked impact on inflation and economic growth. Accordingly, the IEA has lowered its expectations for GDP and oil demand. Oil demand is now predicted to grow by 2.1 mb/d on average in 2022, a downgrade of around 1 mb/d from the previous forecast.

9 March 2022: The US-led sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine conflict have triggered another oil shock, writes oil expert Art Berman. Today, oil prices are hovering around $120 per barrel, with a potential to go higher in the coming weeks. The removal of approximately 5 million b/d of Russian crude oil and condensate exports would be the biggest structural change to the oil market since the Iran-Iraq war in 1980. This means global economic slowdown and inflation. A similar warning has been issued by French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said the current spike in energy prices will produce effects comparable to the 1973 oil shock.

8 March 2022: Global energy-related CO2 emissions rebounded in 2021 to reach their highest ever annual level, according to data by the International Energy Agency (IEA). A 6% (2.1 Gt) increase from 2020 pushed emissions to 36.3 Gt—higher than the previous record of 36.1 Gt set in 2019. This is also the largest ever year-on-year increase in energy-related CO2 emissions in absolute terms.

7 March 2022: The US EPA proposed new, stronger emission standards for NOx and other pollutants from heavy-duty engines. The proposal includes two options: (1) NOx = 0.035/0.020 g/bhp-hr from 2027/2031, respectively (this option is largely aligned with the California low NOx standards); or (2) NOx = 0.050 g/bhp-hr from 2027 [more ...]

5 March 2022: Switzerland becomes another country that adopted a particle number based test for periodic technical inspections (PTI-PN) of diesel vehicles equipped with diesel particulate filters. As conventional PTI methods based on smoke measurement are not sensitive enough for modern diesel engines, the PTI-PN test uses a particle counter to detect DPF removal/tampering or other malfunctions. The PTI-PN test and the related technical background is described in great detail in the newly published book Particles Matter, authored by Gerrit Kadijk who developed the PTI-PN test when working at TNO [more ...]

26 February 2022: Dekati, now on DieselNet, develops and manufactures instrumentation for fine particle measurements. The company’s most recent product is the Mobile Particle Emission Counter MPEC+™—a compact solid particle emission counter for PN-PEMS measurements.

24 February 2022: The “special military operations” launched today by Russia in Ukraine can affect global energy markets and, in particular, the European energy supply. Just how much energy does the EU import from Russia? Quite a lot, according to infographics by the European Commission. In 2019, 41.1% of EU natural gas imports came from Russia. But the energy dependence is not limited to gas—Russia also supplied 26.9% of crude oil and 46.7% of coal imports to the European Union.

23 February 2022: Emission standards: The summary of Indian emission standards for generator sets has been updated to reflect the proposed 2023 emission standards that have been published earlier this month.

22 February 2022: Cummins announced a third acquisition this month, this time a major one—it will buy Meritor for $3.7 billion [more ...]

17 February 2022: New Technology Guide paper, Ammonia, discusses ammonia as a potential low-carbon fuel option.

16 February 2022: One of the effects of climate change are rising sea levels, but what is the magnitude of the effect and how fast is the progress? A new report led by US NOAA, titled 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, projects the sea level along the US coastline to rise, on average, 25-30 cm (10-12") in the next 30 years (2020-2050)—which will be as much as the rise measured over the last 100 years (1920-2020)—increasing the frequency and severity of coastal flooding. Sea level rise will vary regionally along US coasts because of changes in both land and ocean height.

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.