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DieselNet: Internal Combustion Engine & Emission Technology

Engine & emission technology online—since 1997

The Log

1 December 2021: BloombergNEF has published their 2021 battery price survey, which shows that the volume-weighted average battery prices for electric vehicles fell to $132 per kWh in 2021—down by 6% from $140/kWh in 2020. The newest pricing trends are now reflected in our updated Technology Guide paper on Batteries.

17 November 2021: Emission standards: Added summary of the Low Load Application Cycle (LLAC) that is considered for low load testing of Tier 5 nonroad engines.

6 November 2021: The California Air Resources Board held the first public workshop on the development of Tier 5 emission standards that will seek to further reduce NOx and PM emissions from off-road engines by 50-90%—depending on the engine power category—in the 2028-2030 timeframe [more ...]

31 October 2021: New Technology Guide paper, Electric Vehicles, discusses light- and heavy-duty vehicle technologies, such as battery electric vehicles, that are powered by grid electricity.

29 October 2021: Summary of the technical sessions at the 2021 ASME Internal Combustion Engine Fall Technical Conference (ICEF) that was held as a virtual event on October 13-15, 2021 [more ...]

22 October 2021: The effects of China’s coal and electricity shortage are now spreading through the global economy. In an effort to curb domestic power consumption, the production of magnesium in China has either been halted or reduced drastically since September 2021, resulting in an international supply crisis. Magnesium is a key alloying material used in the production of aluminum, steel, and other metals widely used in the automotive industry [more ...]

19 October 2021: Introducing NANO—a Korea based provider of SCR catalysts, TiO2 raw material and related services: SCR catalyst design, testing, evaluation, maintenance, and regeneration.

6 October 2021: The ASME Internal Combustion Engines Fall Conference (ICEF) is just one week away, it is time to register. This year, adhering to the new normal, the conference is held again as a virtual event. The program includes more than 70 technical papers on fundamental advancements and technologies related to IC engines of all sizes ranging from automotive light- and heavy-duty engines to large bore engines for locomotive, propulsion and power generation applications.

5 October 2021: The ongoing fuel shortages in the UK have been explained by a shortage of fuel delivery truck drivers coupled with panic buying, but the timing and the severity of the crisis suggest that some additional reasons may be at play. According to Hydrocarbon Processing, one reason that has been overlooked by the mainstream media is the move to E10 gasoline (10% ethanol), which took place in the UK on September 1st. As a significant fraction of fuel retailers have opted to sell E10 only, gasoline stations may have been depleting the old 95 octane grade fuel stock before replenishing with E10. Some gasoline stations may be running with a lower fuel capacity than before and require more frequent and initially larger replenishments as they adjust to the new normal. In addition, fuel economy is not as good for E10 as for 95 octane—drivers using E10 may expect a 2%-3% decrease in miles per gallon, so they have to fuel up more frequently.

29 September 2021: Summary of the technical sessions from the 2021 CLEERS Workshop, organized by the US DOE and held as a virtual event on September 13-17, 2021 [more ...]

27 September 2021: Updated Technology Guide paper on Cellular Monolith Substrates—added new discussion about the effects of substrate material on catalyst light-off.

23 September 2021: The World Health Organization (WHO) released an update of their air quality guidelines (AQG)—for the first time since 2005—tightening most of the AQG levels [more ...]

22 September 2021: Emission standards: Added summary of European off-cycle emissions (OCE) and in-service conformity (ISC) PEMS testing requirements for heavy-duty engines.

16 September 2021: The drop in CO2 emissions in 2020, during the initial phase of the Covid-19 crisis, was only temporary and emissions are returning to the pre-pandemic levels, according to the United in Science 2021 report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Based on preliminary data, from January to July 2021 global emissions in the power and industry sectors were already at the same level or higher than in the same period in 2019, while emissions from road transport still remained about 5% lower. The report also found that the overall emission reductions in 2020 likely reduced the annual increase of the atmospheric concentrations of long-lived GHGs, but this effect was too small to be distinguished from natural variability. At the launch of the report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that nations are “significantly off-schedule” from the Paris Agreement’s goals.

31 August 2021: The 18th FAD Conference: “Challenge—Exhaust Aftertreatment” will be held in Radebeul, near Dresden, Germany on 15-16 September 2021. This year, the conference will be again a bilingual, German-English event with simultaneous translation. It is time to register for either online participation or to attend in person—if you are in the position to travel.

26 August 2021: Maersk bets on methanol propulsion as a viable approach to reduce GHG emissions from shipping. The company ordered a series of 8 large ocean-going container vessels powered by methanol dual-fuel engines, with the intention to operate the ships on ‘carbon neutral’ methanol [more ...]

23 August 2021: New Technology Guide paper provides a primer on Batteries used in electric vehicles.

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.