What is Clean Diesel?


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About Clean Diesel

What is Clean Diesel?

Cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control technology make up a new generation of diesel. It's clean diesel.

What is clean diesel?

What makes it different from regular diesel?

Clean diesel is the new generation of diesel technology.

Today’s ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control combine to achieve near zero emissions that is smoke free. Clean diesel has proven energy efficiency, and ability to use a wide range of renewable fuels that position diesel as a key technology for growing economies to achieve cleaner air, lower greenhouse gas emissions and a sustainable environment around the world.

Cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines and effective emissions control make up a new generation of diesel. It's clean diesel.

Cleaner Diesel Fuel

Clean diesel fuel - containing 97 percent less sulfur - is now the standard for both on-highway and off-highway diesel engines nationwide. Using this ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) immediately cuts soot emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment by 10 percent. Reducing the sulfur content of diesel fuel is similar to removing lead from gasoline during the 1970s.

Cleaner diesel fuel enables the development of a new generation of advanced engines and emission control devices that can't operate effectively with higher sulfur content in diesel fuel. 

Why is diesel technology so fuel efficient?

A combination of the energy-rich properties of the fuel, and the efficiency and completeness of the combustion of fuel to create useful mechanical energy. Diesel is a petroleum-based fuel with the highest energy density among transportation fuels - that's more energy per gallon than other alternatives. The U.S. Energy Information Administration states that few transportation fuels surpass the energy density of diesel.

Read DTF's Diesel Fuel Study - Diesel: Fueling the Future in a Green Economy.

Advanced Engines

Diesel is the world's most efficient internal combustion engine. It provides more power and more fuel efficiency than alternatives such as gasoline, compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas. Read more about the history of the diesel engine.

Fuel combustion is the primary difference between gasoline and diesel engines. Gasoline engines ignite fuel with spark plugs, whereas diesels ignite fuel with compression. Inside the engine, the combustion of air and fuel takes place under pressure and heat created by compressing the air-fuel mixture so intensely that it combusts spontaneously, releasing energy, that is transmitted to powering the wheels on a vehicle, the piston's motion and creating mechanical energy.

Advanced new technologies such as electronic controls, common rail fuel injection, variable injection timing, improved combustion chamber configuration and turbocharging have made diesel engines cleaner, quieter and more powerful than past vehicles.

Effective Emissions Control

Manufactures have been very innovative with the methods used to meet emission standards using a variety of aftertreatment technologies and advanced engine systems that do not involve the use of additional emissions control technology, particularly in the off-road sector.

Introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels for both on- and off-road applications is a central part of the clean diesel system designed to meet near zero emissions standards. With the introduction of lower sulfur diesel fuel came the ability to use a number of exhaust aftertreatment options such as diesel particulate filters (DPF), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC), and selective catalyst reduction (SCR) with the use of  diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that can be sensitive to the sulfur levels in the fuel.

The installation of various emission control technologies may also improve emissions from older diesel engines through retrofit capabilities. Read more about retrofit capabilities to reduce emissions from older vehicles and equipment.

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