Abraham said energy concerns need to be addressed by:
- Building more nuclear power plants
- Building more oil refineries
- Importing more natural gas
- More energy legislation
- Reconsidering moratoriums on known domestic oil-rich areas
- More fuel cell technology
- More biofuel technology.
“We are headed in a direction where we no longer need catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina to bring the challenges to the forefront,” Abraham said.
In the U.S. Senate, Abraham championed drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where drilling is currently off limits. In the 1990s, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that the equivalent of 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil lies beneath the refuge.
Freightliner Plans to Use SCR for 2010
Freightliner will use selective catalytic reduction technology to comply with the 2010 diesel emission standards in the United States, said Chris Patterson, president and CEO of Freightliner Trucks.
The SCR usage would be only for “our self-manufactured engines, marketed today as Detroit Diesel and Mercedes-Benz,” Patterson said, referring to engines made by Detroit Diesel and its sister brand Mercedes-Benz.
Competing heavy-truck engine makers have said they plan to use existing technology – exhaust gas recirculation or, in the case of Caterpillar, its proprietary ACERT technology – to meet standards in 2007 and 2010. Detroit and Mercedes heavy-duty engines now use EGR.
The Detroit Diesel plans were mentioned by Andreas Renschler, head of DaimlerChrysler’s Commercial Vehicle Division, during a meeting in Germany. DaimlerChrysler owns Freightliner and its Detroit Diesel subsidiary.
“DaimlerChrysler sees selective catalytic reduction, using urea as a post-combustion catalyzing agent, as the optimal technical solution to the challenge of meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s announced restrictions on NOx and particulate matter for 2010 and beyond,” Patterson said. “To this end, we are working with other engine producers, and with fueling infrastructure owners, to assure the agency that this approach meets both the letter and the intent of the regulation.”
Urea is a crystalline solid found naturally in human urine but also produced synthetically for industrial purposes, for example the making of plastics and fertilizer. SCR pumps urea into the exhaust stream, reducing the NOx back into nitrogen and oxygen. The system has a urea tank on the truck that must occasionally be refilled by the driver. Engine makers have shied away from SCR in part because of the requirements of creating sufficient nationwide distribution of urea.
Reducing the NOx outside the engine in this way allows a combustion process that is quite similar to that of pre-2002 engines. This means fuel economy, performance, and stress levels of engine and lubricating oil are more typical of earlier diesels.
Cummins will announce its decision on emissions technology for 2010 during the second half of 2006, said company spokeswoman Cyndi Nigh. “What I can say is that we are continuing to look at our options,” Nigh said. “SCR is a viable solution for 2010 when it is combined with cooled engine gas recirculation.”