Clean air benefits delivered by new generations of diesel technology
October 18, 2018 |
Upgrading the engine of one switcher locomotive in the Port of Tacoma reduced 34 tons of NOx emissions and almost 2,000 pounds of fine particles from the Port of Tacoma, and saved the rail operator 19,000 gallons of fuel
October 18, 2018 (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – The new generation of advanced diesel technology offers significant emissions reductions and greenhouse gas benefits, and is key to meeting West Coast states clean air and climate objectives. Large engine upgrades to the newest generation diesel technologies deliver the most cost-effective emission reductions when compared to other approaches, and have the biggest positive impact on local communities.
These are sentiments shared today by Ezra Finkin, the Diesel Technology Forum’s Director of Policy and External Affairs, as he addressed air quality managers, fleet operators, researchers and scientists from across the nation at the West Coast Collaborative Partners Meeting. Finkin spoke alongside representatives from the California Air Resources Board, Volvo Construction Equipment, DANNAR and Caterpillar about the best strategies to deliver emissions reductions in non-road applications.
“Diesel engines are the technology of choice and the prime mover for waterborne and rail commerce in the U.S. and around the world,” said Finkin. “Upgrading to the newest diesel technologies offer port and rail operators and the communities they are located in a fast, cost-effective path to cleaner air. The return investment on a dollar-per-ton of emissions reduced makes these projects a compelling choice that cannot be ignored.”
Starting in 2015, new diesel engines used in marine applications and switcher locomotives in the United States achieve dramatic emissions reductions in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particle emissions on the order of 88 and 95 percent compared to older models. These fourth-generation advanced diesels – “Tier 4” engines – are available and being deployed today to reduce emissions. By various estimates, upgrading the largest of these engines could save as much as 30 tons of NOx and 2,000 pounds of fine particle emissions per year. The opportunity for transitioning to new generation of technology in the marine and locomotive fleet is substantial as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that, by 2020, only 5 percent of the switch locomotive and 3 percent of the marine workboat fleets will have transitioned to the latest generation of near-zero emission diesel technologies.
“Case studies from the Port of Tacoma and the Puget Sound demonstrate the real-world impacts of the latest diesel engines in these largest applications,” said Finkin. “Upgrading the engine of one switcher locomotive in the Port of Tacoma reduced 34 tons of NOx emissions and almost 2,000 pounds of fine particles from the Port of Tacoma, and saved the rail operator 19,000 gallons of fuel. In the Puget Sound, upgrading three engines on one workboat saves more than 1,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year, as well as eliminates 3.2 tons of NOx and 400 pounds of fine particles, and saves the operator 45,000 gallons of fuel.”
Joint research conducted by the Diesel Technology Forum and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) documents the significant emission reduction benefits that can be gained by replacing older engines in tug boats and switcher locomotives with the latest clean diesel models. According to the study, clean diesel technology upgrades for large tug and switcher locomotive engines cost only $4,379 to $15,201 per ton of NOx, compared to more than $30,000 per ton of NOx for many other emission reduction projects.
“Port and rail operators should ask this question: Is it better to invest in one new alternative power demonstration unit that is a so called ‘zero emission’ option at a great cost, while leaving 10 other older and higher-emitting engines in operation,” said Finkin. “The smarter choice is to use those same funds to upgrade all 11 engines to the newest near-zero emissions diesel technology, thus allowing more communities near ports and rail yards to reap the benefits of the substantial reductions possible with clean diesel upgrades?”
Case Study: 34 tons of NOx Reduced for Tacoma Residents
Case Study: 3.2 tons of NOx Reduced in the Puget Sound
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About The Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of Diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean Diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean Diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner Diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information, visit http://www.dieselforum.org.
Manager, Media Relations