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

Chart from the Diesel Technology ForumChart 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. 

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.

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.”