Diesel group: Clean diesel tech has lowered truck emissions to near-zero levels

| December 18, 2013

Chart from the Diesel Technology Forum

What has the affect been of 2010 (and earlier) engine technology on emissions output?

According to a study released this month and touted by the Diesel Technology Forum, emissions from diesel engines have been nearly wiped by what DTF calls “clean diesel technology,” referring to Selective Catalytic Reduction exhaust aftertreatment systems used by all major North American engine makers. 


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The study, conducted by the Coordinating Research Council and the Health Effects Institute, found that 2010 engines reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, non-methane hydrocarbons and brake-specific particulate matter by 97 percent or more.

Allen Schaeffer, executive director of DTF, says these levels — along with the 99 percent reduction in nitrogen dioxide — well exceed the levels required by both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. 

“These findings ultimately translate into clean diesel technology delivering significant clean air benefits for local communities.  There is also great confidence in this new generation of clean diesel technology from those that use it every day,” he said.


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DTF says the study is a multi-part, five-year study that tests both the emissions and health effects of 2010 engine technology and to ensure there were no unintended emissions caused by SCR and exhaust aftertreatment. 

Schaeffer calls the emissions reduction a “clean-air success story” and credits “the billions of dollars in investments made by engine manufacturers, fuel suppliers and emissions control technology companies.”

“Getting to these near-zero levels of emissions is a result of the highly integrated clean diesel system, cleaner ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engine technologies and emissions control systems,” he said. “Meeting the 2010 standards for highway vehicles was a major milestone, but we’re not done yet.” 

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  • trucktracy

    Yep, break your arm patting yourself on the back. As a shop owner, that does roadside assistance, we love these new trucks. First we get to go out and find out what the problem is when they shut down. Then we get to tow the truck to the nearest dealer for a forced regen.
    What landfill do all these emissions go to when the particulate filter is cleaned or replaced? Are we trading one type of pollution for another ?

  • Zack

    What a load of garbage. CO2 is the big issue right now; it’s the one that scientists agree to be causing global warming. All these new emissions devices cause more fuel to be used, creating more CO2…and that’s before the pollution caused by the additional oil drilling and refining. If they would just get out of the way the tech would be cleaner in total because fuel efficiency would be the gold standard, and (other than CO2) all emissions are just wasted fuel.

  • Alex

    you’re saying that CO2 is bad but isn’t CO2 what the plants and trees “breath” ?

  • JoeT

    Uhh, they breathe air but capture CO2. They breathe just as well without it (considering there are ~35% fewer trees than 50 years ago).

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