Four technologies to save the diesel engine


Should the diesel engine be tossed onto the scrapheap? Headline writers shouldn’t forget that all combustion engines produce nitrogen oxides. While diesel NOx is higher than petrol (Euro6 NOx limits allow 80mg/l for diesel and 60mg/l for gasoline), the rollout of new NOx after-treatment systems will allow diesel to match gasoline.

Chris Brace, automotive propulsion professor at Bath university, believes that ‘today’s after-treatments will fix emissions and air quality issues. When real driving emission tests are enforcing Euro 6.2 in 2017, the air quality issue will be largely beaten. Then it’s back to CO2 business as usual.’

Of course, that’s where denser diesel fuel has the edge, containing about 15% more energy than petrol, plus diesel engines are about 20% more efficient. The downside is that diesel produces 2.65kg of CO2 per kilo burnt, compared to 2.3kg for petrol. However, since diesel consumes 25% less fuel than a gasoline engine, it emits 15% less CO2. And that’ll be vital to help car makers avoid a €95 fine for every gram emitted over 95g/km – PER car sold – from 2021. Reason enough for the bean-counters to sanction these NOx-beating technologies…

Source: Four technologies to save the diesel engine

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