The Health Effects Institute (HEI) recently released its final report from the multi-year Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES). The Diesel Technology Forum quickly issued a statement regarding the report’s findings that new diesel filtration techniques had succeeded in improving emissions reductions. This was no surprise because expectations were high that the results would prove that being exposed to exhaust from vehicles with the new diesel technology did not increase the study animals’ likelihood of contracting lung cancer or any other type of health problem.
The Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, Allen Schaeffer, said that the study’s significance could not be overstated. The results verified that the new clean-diesel technology had practically no emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), particulate matter (PM) or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Although heavy-duty trucks were the study’s focus, the clean diesel technology will impact all diesel vehicles, including mass transit, construction, agriculture, maritime and passenger cars.
Schaeffer also said that having an authoritative body like the HEI perform such a comprehensive study is very important. The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored the study along with the companies that manufacture emissions control apparatus, such as filtering equipment and modern fuel transfer pumps.
Rising costs of operation, such as downtime and fuel expenses, in combination with tight environmental scrutiny, have placed the mining industry at a disadvantage. In a naturally dirty workplace, fuel cleanliness is critical. Modern diesel fuel pumps have enabled these large diesel-powered engines to remain free from contamination, so they can stay in service for longer periods.
Diesel Power’s Relation to America’s Economic Sectors
Diesel engines are the preferred technology driving 15 segments of the global economy, which is why the ACES study is so crucial according to Schaeffer. Clean diesel technology is the force that powers goods movement across the globe. In the United States, more highway trucks are already favoring the new clean technology. Nationally, over one-third of the commercial trucks these days are powered with engines made after 2007 that have reduced particulate matter and lowered NOx emissions by 98 percent when compared to vehicles from 1988. State to state figures vary, but some states have more than 50 percent of their diesel trucks using clean diesel engines. This directly and immediately affects all the communities where these trucks operate.
ACES Study on Clean Diesel’s Effects
Two revered not-for-profit organizations that research scientific matters spearhead ACES. The Coordinating Research Council (CRC) and the HEI work together on cooperative multi-party projects guided by their steering committee. That committee includes members of the petroleum industry, engine manufacturers, emissions control manufacturers, National Resources Defense Council, U.S. EPA, California Air Resources Board, American Petroleum Institute, U.S. DOE, National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health as well as others. A group of academic scientists advise ACES as an oversight committee.
Schaeffer said that there has been a complete transformation in diesel technology recently. In 2006, there was a shift to low-sulfur diesel fuel, which dropped the sulfur content of diesel fuel by 97 percent. Refinements in engines soon followed the cleaner diesel fuel advances. Now, emission controls and other reduction technologies have been deployed across a large range of technology for industry and engines.
Benefits of Clean Diesel Technology in Other Nations
Foreign countries can also enjoy the higher air quality that results from clean diesel fuel and clean diesel engines made in the U.S. Some 25 percent of all clean diesel engines manufactured here are exported to other countries. That places clean diesel technology at the top of the list of high value United States exports.