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Technical & scientific resources on the web: Energy, fuels, engines, and emissions

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Air quality impacts of biodiesel in the United States

ICCT White Paper, International Council on Clean Transportation, Washington, DC, USA, 2021

This study presents a meta-analysis of air pollution changes from vehicles and engines running on biodiesel blends in the United States relative to a conventional diesel baseline. When the analysis is restricted to only studies reflecting modern conditions, the biodiesel NOx effect for B20 increases to 4% due to the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and common-rail fuel injection systems. The analysis also found that in modern engines, B20 increases HC and CO by 7% and 10%, respectively, and does not reduce PM compared to conventional diesel. This finding presents a striking contrast with the conclusions in EPA’s 2002 meta-analysis—based on data from older technology engines—that biodiesel sharply reduces emissions of all these pollutants.
Real Driving Emissions (RDE): 2020 assessment of Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) measurement uncertainty

JRC Technical Report, 2021

The EU Joint Research Center (JRC) has updated its assessment of portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) measurement uncertainty suggesting that the RDE conformity factors (CF) for NOx and PN can be further lowered. The NOx margin can be reduced to 0.23 (CF=1.23) and the PN margin to 0.34 (CF=1.34). The previous estimate of NOx margin was 0.32 and the current PN margin used in the legislation is 0.5.
Non-exhaust Particulate Emissions from Road Transport

OECD Publishing, Paris, France, 2020

Non-exhaust emissions of particulate matter constitute a little-known but rising share of emissions from road traffic and have significant negative impacts on public health. This report synthesizes the current state of knowledge about the nature, causes, and consequences of non-exhaust particulate emissions. It also projects how particulate matter emissions from non-exhaust sources may evolve in future years and reflects on policy instrument mixes that can address this largely ignored environmental issue.
Emissions Gap Report 2020

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2020

The report finds that, despite a brief dip in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is still heading for a temperature rise in excess of 3°C this century—far beyond the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C.
ABS Advisory On NOx Tier III Compliance

American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), 2020

Classification society ABS has published the ABS Advisory on NOx Tier III Compliance to provide best practice for IMO Tier III compliance for new build vessels and retrofitted ships. The advisory includes an overview of available technologies, evaluates considerations for the selection of compliance options and outlines the process for statutory and class approval. It also details best practices for installation and integration of exhaust emission control systems and challenges typically encountered during their operation.
Biomass-Based Diesel

Fuels Institute, Alexandria, VA, USA, 2020

This report, commissioned by the Fuels Institute, analyzes the major attributes of the U.S. Biomass-Based Diesel (biodiesel and renewable diesel) sector at every stage of the supply chain, including its production and consumption trends, distribution and blending practices, technical and environmental performance, and economics associated with production and demand.
Forecasting the Alternative Marine Fuel Ammonia

Korean Register of Shipping, 2020

An overview of ammonia as a marine fuel including: technologies from engine manufacturers, storage and transport, economics, production, stability and risks.
Role of e-fuels in the European transport system. Literature review

CONCAWE Report 14/19, 2019

A literature review on e-fuels, which aims to build a better understanding of the e-fuel production technologies and implications in terms of efficiency, greenhouse gases (GHG) reduction, technology readiness level, environmental impact, investment, costs and potential demand. Among the challenges: low thermodynamic conversion efficiency, technology is in a pilot/demo stage, massive amount of capital-intense equipment is required to deploy the technology, high production costs.
The climate implications of using LNG as a marine fuel

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), 2020

A life-cycle analysis that considers methane losses during natural gas extraction and distribution shows that the use of LNG can increase GHG emissions from shipping. Using a 20-year GWP of CH4, there is no climate benefit from using LNG, regardless of engine technology.
The impacts of EGCS washwater discharges on port water and sediment

CE Delft report for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, 2019

According to this study for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Europe, ships that use Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCSs) to comply with the IMO sulfur regulations have a small impact on the water quality in ports, when compared to future EU standards for priority substances in water. The study calculates the predicted equilibrium concentrations for 11 metals and 16 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Four of these metals and seven PAHs are priority substances under the European Water Framework Directive (EU WFD). In most ports and for most substances, the increase in concentrations caused by continuous discharge of a relatively high amount of EGCS washwater is less than 0.1% of the limit value in the EU WFD for 2021 for these priority substances. In ports with low hydrodynamic exchange (such as in the Baltic sea), the increase in concentration can amount to 0.6% of the limit value for a few PAHs. The study also evaluates the accumulation of substances in port sediment.
Current state of NOx emissions from in-use heavy-duty diesel vehicles in the United States

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), 2019

This report assesses the real-world nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions behavior of heavy-duty diesel vehicles in the United States measured using portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS). This assessment is based on 160 PEMS tests from engines certified to 0.2 grams per brake horsepower-hour (g/bhp-hr) of NOx. The tests include data from eight manufacturers and 26 unique engine families certified between 2010 and 2016. Second-by-second data was analyzed to compare against the compliance evaluation results and to assess the impact of vehicle speed, vehicle type, and manufacturer on real-world NOx emissions.
Solid Particle Number (SPN) Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) in the European Legislation: A Review

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2019

An open access paper that gives an overview of the studies for SPN-PEMS from early 2013 with the first prototypes until the latest testing and improvements in 2019.
Shale Reality Check 2019

Post Carbon Institute, Corvallis, Oregon, 2019

The report provides a detailed analysis of US light tight oil (LTO) production estimates by the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), and finds that the EIA reference case play-level production forecasts through 2050 are extremely optimistic and therefore highly unlikely to be realized. Although there is no doubt that the United States can produce substantial amounts of shale gas and tight oil over the short- and medium-term, unrealistic long-term forecasts are a disservice to planning a viable long-term energy strategy. The best-case scenario to meet the EIA AEO2019 reference case forecast requires drilling 1,451,771 wells at a cost of $9.5 trillion over the 2017-2050 period.
Marine fuel handling in connection to stability and compatibility

CIMAC Guideline 01/2019, By CIMAC WG7 Fuels, 2019

This guidance aims to provide a practical and working understanding of the definition of stability and compatibility of marine fuel oils and how these two specific fuel properties may be best managed in the supply chain and on-board ships. This compliments and expands on the information given in ISO/PAS 23263:2019 “Considerations for fuel suppliers and users regarding marine fuel quality in view of the implementation of maximum 0.50% Sulphur in 2020” (PAS). Details on the accepted available test methodologies for stability and for predicting compatibility are included, covering their applicability and correct interpretation.
Decoupling debunked: Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability

European Environmental Bureau, 2019

Is it possible to enjoy both economic growth and environmental sustainability? This report reviews the empirical and theoretical literature to assess the validity of such hypothesis. The conclusion is both overwhelmingly clear and sobering: not only is there no empirical evidence supporting the existence of a decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures on anywhere near the scale needed to deal with environmental breakdown, but also, and perhaps more importantly, such decoupling appears unlikely to happen in the future.
Joint Industry Guidance: The supply and use of 0.50%-sulphur marine fuel

Joint Industry Project (CIMAC, Concawe, IACS, IBIA, and others), 2019

The Guidance presents the specific safety and operational issues relating to the supply and use of max. 0.50%-sulfur fuels, an overview of fuel quality principles, and the controls that should be put in place to ensure that safety issues are identified, prevented and/or mitigated. It addresses issues such as fuel compatibility, fuel stability, and fuel handling and storage, and contains a comprehensive review of existing operational factors that can affect safety.
Alternativen zu Dieseltriebzügen im Schienenpersonennahverkehr (Alternatives to DMUs in Rail Passenger Transport)

VDE Technik und Innovation report, 2019

With a focus on decarbonizing the German rail network by 2050, the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) claims battery power and fuel cells are the most sensible options for replacing diesel multiple-units on low traffic rail lines where electrification is uneconomical. Battery operation is suitable for routes with unelectrified sections of up to 80 km, with the traction batteries being charged from overhead lines elsewhere on the route. While fuel cells are an option for routes with unelectrified sections longer than 80 km, hydrogen production and supply infrastructure is required. Battery and fuel cell technologies should be equal priorities for development, with political support provided to mitigate implementation risks. Electric-diesel or diesel-battery options were not considered as these would potentially be an expensive investment in a ‘transitional measure’. Report in German only.
DERA Fourth Report to Congress: Highlights of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program

US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA, 2019

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, authorized in 2005 and reauthorized in 2010, is a US federal government program addressing emissions from legacy diesel engines such as through engine replacements or retrofits. This Fourth Report to Congress summarizes final results from FY 2008-2013 and details a combination of final and estimated results from FY 2014-2016.
Germany's Energiewende – where we really stand

VERNUNFTKRAFT, English translation of a November 2017 German report, 2018

A report by Vernunftkraft, a German group opposed to wind power, claims Germany's Energiewende is a failure. The 29,000 wind turbines and 1.6 million PV systems provide only 3.1% of Germany’s energy needs at a cost well over 100 billion Euros so far and likely another 450 billion Euros over the next two decades - even when the cost of maintaining fossil generation systems to back up the lack of wind and sun is not included. Wind and solar installations receive a guaranteed price for 20 years which removes incentives to innovate, research and please customers. Consumers paid 176 billion euros for renewable electricity with a market value of 5 billion euros from 2000-2016.
Low carbon pathways until 2050 - Deep Dive on Heavy-Duty Transportation

FEV Consulting Report, 2019

Concawe commissioned study examining pathways to achieve 80-95% reduction in CO2 from heavy-duty trucks by 2050 compared to 1990. All pathways apply four measures: optimization of usage, electrification of powertrains, efficiency increase of vehicles and adaptation of energy carriers. Optimization of usage results in increased truck utilization that can mitigate emissions from higher transport demand and is enabled by the uptake of connected and automated trucks. Electrification of powertrains provides a small well-to-wheel CO2 emission reduction that can be increased by providing more electricity and hydrogen from renewable sources. All low carbon pathways use battery and fuel cell electric trucks at more than 25% of the vehicle stock. Efficiency increase of the vehicles is a strong contributor to lower CO2 emissions and is enabled by the reduction of aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance and weight and improved powertrain efficiency.
Shifting the focus: energy demand in a net-zero carbon UK

Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS), Oxford, UK, 2019

A major cross-theme report, based on existing research, concludes that the reduction of energy demand is crucial to achieve zero-carbon economy, and government policies should focus on energy demand reductions, rather than on increasing energy supply. In the transportation sector, it means that the number of cars on the roads must be reduced, not increased, even if all vehicles are powered by renewable electricity.
Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War

Boston University, 2019

Although the US Defense Department has reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil—and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters. The paper examines military fuel usage for the US post-9/11 wars and the impact of that fuel usage on GHG emissions. The best estimate of US military GHG emissions from 2001, when the wars began with the US invasion of Afghanistan, through 2017, is that the US military has emitted 1,212 million tonnes of CO2e. In 2017, for example, the Pentagon’s GHG emissions were greater than the GHG emissions of entire industrialized countries such as Sweden or Denmark.
Do Renewable Portfolio Standards Deliver?

Working Paper No. 2019-62, Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, 2019

A comparison of states with and without Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policies indicates that 7 years after passage of an RPS program, the required renewable share of generation is 1.8% higher and average retail electricity prices are 11% higher. For 12 years after adoption, there is a 4.2% increase in renewables' share and a price increase of 17%. These cost estimates significantly exceed the marginal operational costs of renewables and likely reflect costs that renewables impose on the generation system, including those associated with their intermittency, higher transmission costs, and any stranded asset costs assigned to ratepayers. The estimated cost of CO2 abatement was $130-$460 per tonne of CO2, making it at least several times larger than conventional estimates of the social cost of carbon. These results do not rule out the possibility that RPS policies could dynamically reduce the cost of abatement in the future by causing improvements in renewable technology.
Understanding the life cycle GHG emissions for different vehicle types and powertrain technologies

Final Report for LowCVP, Ricardo, 2018

For larger, heavy-duty trucks, life cycle CO2e emissions are overwhelmingly (over 95%) from vehicle use. For smaller vehicles, such as passenger cars and L-category vehicles, there is greater sensitivity in each life cycle stage. Vehicle production does contribute to life cycle CO2e emissions, and may be the dominant life cycle stage for BEV technology used with low carbon electricity.
Defossilizing the transportation sector Options and requirements for Germany

FVV report R586 - 2018, 2018

Fuels working group of the Research Association for Combustion Engines (FVV) worked together with relevant partners to compare and assess various mobility scenarios, which would all enable fully CO₂-free mobility (well-to-wheel) and the energy requirements of which can be completely covered by realistically exploitable renewable energies (solar and wind energy).
A comparison of real driving emissions from Euro 6 diesel passenger cars with zero emission vehicles and their impact on urban air quality compliance Urban air quality study: extension I

Concawe Report 8/18, 2018

The results of a real driving emissions study conducted by Ricardo indicate that for diesel passenger cars driven under real driving conditions, the latest Euro 6 technologies deliver a significant reduction in the emissions of nitrogen oxides compared to pre-2015 vehicles. This reduction in emissions means that both Euro 6d diesel cars and zero emission cars have an almost identical effect on compliance with ambient air quality limit values and consequent population exposure. This holds true for all of the pollutants examined: NO2, PM2.5 and PM10. Therefore, the choice of drive train (diesel or electric) in new passenger car registrations will have negligible impact on compliance with air quality limit values in European urban environments. From an air quality perspective, it is unlikely that excluding newer Euro 6 diesel passenger cars from cities will result in earlier compliance or a reduction in population exposure.
Life Cycle GHG Emission Study on the Use of LNG as Marine Fuel

Report prepared by thinkstep AG for SEA\LNG Limited and Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel Limited (SGMF), 2019

In this report prepared for SEA/LNG, a proponent of LNG for marine applications, it is claimed that LNG provides a GHG reduction potential (well-to-wake basis) ranging from 7-21% compared with petroleum-based fuels. The benefit is highly dependent on the engine technology and the type of reference fuel (distillate or residual) used in the comparison. Methane emissions from the gas engines used in the estimate range from 0.05 to 3.84 g/kWh. The BTE values of the low speed and medium speed gas engines are up to 1.5% higher than the diesel engines they are compared to.
Enabling Technologies for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Cummins 55BTE

Final Scientific / Technical Report: DoE Program Award Number: DE-EE0007281, 2018

The Cummins 55% BTE (55BTE) program has completed the planned technical work on the project. This work includes the planned engine system demonstration in pursuit of the goal of demonstrating a peak system brake thermal efficiency (BTE) of 55%. A BTE of 54% was demonstrated and a revised path is identified showing how the system could be improved to reach 55% BTE with some minor modification to the engine system. The changes in the revised path not completed due to time and money constraints placed on the program. The combustion system was re-designed for a shorter combustion duration and lower in-cylinder heat loss through optimization of the fuel injection rate shape, number of spray holes, piston bowl shape, compression ratio, piston oil cooling, heat flow through the piston and in-cylinder charge motion. The air handling system was re-designed to provide cooled EGR at virtually no pumping penalty through implementation of a dual loop EGR system and reduction of EGR system pressure drop.
Decarbonisation of transport: options and challenges

European Academies' Science Advisory Council (EASAC), 2019

The report reviews options for reducing GHG emissions from European transport. EASAC recommends a combination of transitional measures for the next 10-15 years and sustainable measures for the long term, based on a three level policy framework: avoid and contain demand for transport services; shift passengers and freight to transport modes with lower emissions (trains, buses and ships); and improve performance through vehicle design, more efficient powertrains and replacing fossil fuels with sustainable energy carriers including low-carbon electricity, hydrogen and synthetic fuels.
RIA Electrification Cost Challenge Report

UK's Railway Industry Association, 2019

Better planning of projects, wider adoption of best practice and a long-term commitment to a rolling program could reduce the cost of overhead line electrification by between 33% and 50%. Conventional electrification remains the optimal technical solution for an intensively-used railway, despite the introduction of new technologies such as ‘bimode, trimode, battery and hydrogen’ trains. It should therefore be the first consideration in any move to decarbonise the railway by 2040. The report argues that the significant increase in cost on the Great Western Electrification Program should be seen as a one-off, caused by an unrealistic program of work and unpreparedness in using novel technologies resulting in poor productivity. The government had authorized a ‘glut’ of electrification projects following a 20-year hiatus. This ‘feast and famine’ approach had also impacted on costs, with up to eight schemes competing for limited resources at one stage.
Ultra-Low Emission Natural Gas 12-Liter Engine for On-Road Heavy-Duty Vehicles

CEC-500-2019-002, 2019

The final report for Cummins' Low NOx 12-Liter Natural Gas Engine Development project conducted by the South Coast Air Quality Management District. The ISX12N represents an upgrade to the ISX12 G production engine, with an improved three-way catalyst, a closed crankcase ventilation system, and optimized engine controls that improve upon the base design and meet state engine certification goals. The project team also developed heavy-duty on-board diagnostics to meet California Air Resources Board requirements. The engine met the project objectives by: demonstrating a peak rating of 400 hp and 1,450 ft-lb, reducing ammonia emissions by more than 50% compared to the ISX12 G to just under 40 ppm, achieving about 15% better fuel efficiency than a similar model year 2010 ISX12 diesel engine over the FTP cycle, and meeting the NOx emissions target of 0.02 g/bhp-hr.
Shell LNG-Studie "Verflüssigtes Erdgas – Neue Energie für Schiff und Lkw?" (Liquefied Natural Gas – New Energy for Vessels and Trucks?)

Shell, Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) and Technischen Universität Hamburg (TUHH) report, 2019

Assuming that by 2040 there will be 6,000 (mainly) large LNG ships worldwide and 480,000 LNG trucks in the EU, greenhouse gas emissions from shipping could be reduced by 132 million tonnes by 2040 and from heavy trucks by up to 4.7 million tonnes, depending on engine technology. With a 30% share of renewable LNG, an additional reduction of around 20% would be possible for trucks. Methane slip is addressed in Euro VI legislation with a 0.5 g/kWh methane emission limit. Methane emissions from marine are not currently addressed adequately and methane emission reductions are required. Report is in German.
Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 37

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2019

A statistical compendium prepared and published by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) under contract with the US Department of Energy. Designed for use as a desk-top reference, the Data Book represents an assembly and display of statistics and information that characterize transportation activity, and presents data on other factors that influence transportation energy use.
Compilation and Assessment of Lab Samples from EGCS Washwater Discharge on Carnival ships

Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 Technical Conference, London Marriott Hotel County Hall, 21st February 2019, 2019

A study carried out by Carnival Corp. on washwater from scrubbers on cruise ships shows that it compares well with numerous water quality standards. The three-year study collected 281 wash water samples from 53 EGCS-equipped cruise ships and then assessed against 54 different test parameters by ISO accredited independent laboratories. All the resulting laboratory analysis reports were then evaluated by DNV GL’s Maritime Advisory Services and the data compared against various water quality standards, after first confirming that the samples analysed were consistently well within the allowable IMO criteria and regulatory limits.
Update of maritime greenhouse gas emission projections

CE Delft, January 2019 Publication code: 19.7S18.009, 2019

The Third IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2014 presented emission projections from shipping that showed increases of 50-250% in 2050 relative to 2012. Using GDP projections from the OECD, this work estimates that an increase of 20% is more realistic.
The potential for cost-effective air emission reductions from international shipping through designation of further Emission Control Areas in EU waters with focus on the Mediterranean Sea

IIASA Research Report, 2018

IIASA has completed a study on the potential for cost-effective air emission reductions from international shipping through designation of further Emission Control Areas on the European Seas with a focus on the Mediterranean Sea.
MAN B&W Two-stroke Marine Engines Emission Project Guide for Marpol Annex VI Regulations, 9th Edition

MAN Energy Solutions, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2018

The intention of the Emission Project Guide is to give sufficient information to decide and design solutions for emission reductions at the initial stage of a project involving MAN B&W two-stroke marine engines. The Emission Project Guide is divided in two parts: Part 1 NOx reduction – IMO Tier III solutions and Part 2 SOx reduction – exhaust gas cleaning system
The Future for Hydrogen Trains in the UK

Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 2019

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers recommends that: 1) the UK Government rethinks the cancellation of electrification programmes, 2) the industry encourages the development and deployment of hydrogen trains and their fueling and servicing facilities, and 3) hydrogen train technology is developed in industrial areas where hydrogen production already occurs, and can support the wider transport system.
Can Natural Gas Reduce Emissions from Transport?

Imperial College London, Sustainable Gas Institute (SGI), 2019

Natural gas as a transport fuel has the potential to reduce GHG emissions in trucks and ships by ~16% and ~10%, respectively. These levels are not sufficient to meet global GHG emissions goals. Air pollution emissions can be reduced significantly in shipping by switching to natural gas, while air pollution benefits in trucks are reduced given improvements in modern diesel engines.
Natural Gas as a Fuel for Heavy Goods Vehicles

Imperial College London, Sustainable Gas Institute (SGI), 2019

The two main parameters affecting the overall well-to-wheel (WTW) GHG emission of natural gas HGVs compared to diesel are the fuel consumption relative to diesel and methane leakages across the supply chain. Methane well-to-pump leakage rates are estimated to be 1.6% nominally, with a range of 0.2% to 10%.

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