Cassie Rodenberg: Electron-ic Bonds

Diesel: down, not out
October 2, 2009, 9:03 pm
Filed under: Energy, Fuel

Gas engine pollution is the bruise that triggers perpetual wincing of environmentalists everywhere. We know emissions are bad as we drive our fuel-efficient hybrids and frown at off-road tractors and heavy machinery. Don’t even get us started on diesel users.

Actually, diesel may not be down for the count. New research indicates that a careful cocktail, an auxiliary injection, of ether, carbon monoxide and propane may lower hydrocarbon and particulate emissions and improve cold start-up, a huge step forward for the famously inefficient engines. Emission cuts may be as high as 60%, two-thirds of the EPA’s eventual clean-diesel goal of 90%.

This is a far cry from earlier dealings with diesel – one of which included trying methanol as a fuel, which greatly increased carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions.

Though it seems to be a game of tug-and-war with diesel, at least the emitters seems to be inching toward the mud pit.