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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

20 September 2023: Britain will push back a ban on new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035 from 2030, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, adding that the cars would still be available to buy on the secondhand market thereafter.

19 September 2023: Emission standards: Updated summary of international standards and specifications for petroleum marine fuels.

15 September 2023: The United Auto Workers (UAW) union launched simultaneous strikes at three factories owned by the ‘Big Three’ automakers: the Ford plant in Michigan that makes Bronco SUVs, a General Motors plant in Missouri that assembles Chevrolet Colorado pickups, and a Stellantis plant in Ohio that builds Jeep Wrangler SUVs. The union demands a bigger share of profits generated by combustion engine vehicles and stronger job security as automakers shift to electric vehicles. Specifically, the union seeks a 46% pay rise, 32-hour work weeks, and restoration of traditional pensions.

14 September 2023: The European Parliament adopted its position on revisions to the Ambient Air Quality Directives. The text adopted by the Parliament strengthens the air quality standards beyond the Commission’s proposal. It includes two sets of limit and target values: intermediate limit values effective from 2030, based on the Commission’s proposal, and more stringent, final limit values effective from 2035 [more ...]

13 September 2023: The extension of oil output cuts by Saudi Arabia and Russia through the year-end will lock in a substantial oil market deficit through the fourth quarter of 2023, said the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Oil Market Report published today. The decision by the Saudi-Russian alliance triggered a price spike in North Sea Dated above $90 per barrel to a 10-month high. Oil markets were already tightening in August, when global inventories plunged by a sharp 76.3 million barrels, or 2.46 million b/d. According to OPEC estimates seen by Bloomberg, global oil markets may face a supply shortfall of more than 3 million b/d in the next quarter.

11 September 2023: The #P2X Conference will be held in mid-November in Frankfurt, Germany. The program covers topics ranging from electrolysis and other production processes for hydrogen to the synthesis of eFuels for heavy-duty transport, shipping, and aviation. eFuels are considered by many an indispensable component of the future transportation landscape—it’s time to make arrangements to attend the Conference [more ...]

7 September 2023: Electric vehicles make up 6.7% of US light-duty vehicle sales, plug-in hybrids 1.7%, and conventional hybrids 7.2%, according to the EIA. Between 2021 and Q2 2023, manufacturers reduced the number of non-hybrid ICE vehicle models from 318 to 297, and they increased the number of battery-electric models from 34 to 55. Most of the shift toward battery-electric models is in the luxury segment—battery-electric vehicles now account for 20% of all available luxury models, compared with 7% of non-luxury models.

1 September 2023: The European Commission is reportedly considering watering down a carbon neutrality requirement for eFuels to allow more combustion engine cars to be sold after 2035. In its draft proposal, DG GROW effectively refers to “CO2 neutral” fuels as fuels that provide a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels, according to internal documents seen by Euractiv. The proposal was hailed by Daimler and other eFuel proponents.

19 August 2023: Emission standards: The summary of Australian emission standards has been updated and restructured, with separate articles covering light-duty and heavy-duty vehicle regulations.

11 August 2023: World oil demand is scaling record highs, according to the August edition of the IEA’s Oil Market Report. Global oil demand reached a record 103 million barrels per day (b/d) in July and will likely set another record in August. In 2023, oil demand is expected to expand by 2.2 million b/d to 102.2 million b/d, with China accounting for more than 70% of the growth. Meanwhile, global oil supply plunged by 910 kb/d to 100.9 million b/d in July, largely due to a sharp reduction in Saudi production. Nevertheless, the IEA projects the global oil output would expand by 1.5 million b/d to a record 101.5 million b/d in 2023, with the United States driving the gains. For 2024, the IEA reduced its estimated global oil demand growth by 150,000 bpd, with projected growth slowing to 1 million b/d.

4 August 2023: A summary of the 26th ETH Nanoparticles Conference (NPC) that was held June 20-22, 2023 in Zürich [more ...]

24 July 2023: The Technology Guide paper on Hydrogen has been expanded with new material on hydrogen combustion and hydrogen fueled engines.

12 July 2023: The IEA released the 2023 edition of their Critical Minerals Market Review. In the Announced Pledges Scenario (APS), demand for critical minerals more than doubles by 2030. In the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE) Scenario, demand grows by three-and-a-half times to 2030, reaching over 30 million tonnes. Electric vehicles and battery storage are the main drivers of future mineral demand growth. The report also notes that importers have so far failed to diversify their supply sources—compared with the situation three years ago, the share of the top three producers in 2022 either remains unchanged or has increased further, especially for nickel and cobalt.

11 July 2023: The Technology Guide paper on Variable Compression Ratio has been updated and expanded to cover the Diesel United VCR system for marine engines.

10 July 2023: The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) adopted the 2023 IMO GHG Strategy, aiming to reach net-zero emissions from ships by 2050 [more ...].

7 July 2023: Summary of the US DOE Vehicle Technologies Office 2023 Annual Merit Review that was held as a virtual event on June 12-15, 2023 [more ...].

6 July 2023: The California Air Resources Board announced a Clean Truck Partnership with major US truck manufacturers and the EMA, where CARB agreed to align with the EPA 2027 NOx emission regulations and to provide reasonable lead time for new regulations, while manufacturers agreed to meet California’s ZEV standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles [more ...].

4 July 2023: The Energy Institute (EI) released the 72nd annual edition of the 2023 Statistical Review of World Energy—previously published by BP—presenting full global energy data for 2022 [more ...].

30 June 2023: A summary of technical sessions from the 30th CIMAC Congress held in Busan, Korea on June 12-16, 2023 [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.