Cleaner Fuels & Technologies
The Objective of the Cleaner Fuels & Technologies Workgroup is to share information and seek funding for a variety of projects including: Cleaner Fuel Use, Engine Retrofitting and Fuel Reduction.
There are three primary approaches to reducing diesel emissions:
Heavy duty vehicles pollute the air we breathe because their fuel is, typically inherently dirty. A "cleaner fuel" is a cleaner-burning replacement for regular diesel fuel, whether it is a modified form of the same fuel or an outright alternative to diesel. Unlike retrofit devices, the use of cleaner fuels reduces harmful air pollutants before they are combusted in the engine.
The Collaborative is fuel neutral and supports "cleaner" forms of diesel fuel and alternatives to diesel fuel.
- ULSD and Lower Sulfur Fuel
- Natural Gas: Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)
- Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) or Fischer-Tropsch Fuel
- Emulsified Diesel Fuel
Diesel engines retrofitted with after-treatment air pollution control devices can achieve considerable emissions reductions. Many of these devices significantly reduce emissions on stationary and mobile diesel engines. The Collaborative broadly defines diesel engine retrofits as engine replacements, repair, retrofit (after-treatment controls) or repower.
The term “retrofit” is most often used to describe exhaust aftertreatment devices. While exhaust aftertreatment technology represents a very promising category of solutions for in-use emissions reduction, it is only one of a number of options. In addition to cleaner fuel use and idle reduction technologies and practices, here are some other opportunities to reduce diesel emissions:
- Repair/Rebuild—Regular engine maintenance plays a critical role in ensuring proper engine performance and engine rebuilding can significantly lower emissions in some cases.
- Retrofit—The installation of exhaust aftertreatment technologies - such as particulate filters, oxidation catalysts, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), selective catalytic reduction (SCR) devices, and NOx catalysts - can reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
- Repower—Replacing the older engine with a new clean diesel engine can be a cost-effective option for certain highly-valuable pieces of diesel equipment.
- Replace—Replacing entire vehicles or equipment may be the best, most cost-effective option for some of the oldest engines.
Heavy duty vehicle/vessel idling provides heat or air conditioning inside the vehicle/vessel for driver/occupant(s’) comfort, keeps the engine and fuel warm during cool weather, and provides electrical power for onboard applications. While this can often best be accomplished simply through behavioral changes by the drivers, there are certainly relevant technologies to reduce idling-related air pollution:
- Idle Reduction Technologies
- Idling Alternatives
- State and Local Idle Reduction Laws
- The National Transportation Idle Free Corridors Project