Mid-Atlantic Clean Diesel Conference Focuses On Air Quality

Last week, representatives from government, environmental groups, and the private sector met in Pennsylvania to discuss clean diesel strategies for continuing air quality improvements in the Mid-Atlantic region. That area includes Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative is a partnership between leaders from federal and state agencies, regional EPA offices, environmental groups, trucking fleets, engine and equipment makers and other interest groups. Together, they are working to reduce emissions from existing engines and equipment.

Diesel trucks

For most of us, clean diesel is now a discredited concept, thanks to the revelations that have come to light about diesel emissions in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal. But the focus of this conference is not on passenger cars. It is on the short haul diesel powered trucks that move containerized cargo from ports along the Atlantic seaboard less than 50 miles or so to the next mode of transport at truck terminals or rail yards. Such vehicles are often known as drayage trucks. They tend to be older models with diesel engines that pollute far more than more modern trucks.

The Mid-Atlantic region relies on diesel technology for moving freight that originates at the ports of Baltimore, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. The region’s agricultural and construction industries also rely on diesel engines and equipment. Diesel Technology Forum executive director Allen Schaeffer opened the conference by recognized the regional collaborative for its innovative and successful approaches to improving air quality.

He emphasized that, since 2010, the fleet of clean diesel commercial vehicles on the road in Pennsylvania have eliminated 1.3 million tons of CO2 and 300,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen, while saving 3.1 million barrels of crude oil. If just one half of the fleet of drayage trucks operating within the region were powered by a diesel engine that meets the 2010 model year emissions standard, an additional 30,000 tons of NOx and one million tons of CO2 could be eliminated, he said.

Schaeffer noted that diesels will remain the prime mover for the global economy for decades to come. Battery powered vehicle technology may be fine for automobiles, but it is still not suitable for heavy duty trucks hauling loads of 80,000 lbs or more. He predicted substantial gains in efficiency from construction and farming equipment thanks to increased use of the latest clean diesel technology. Schaeffer also expects cleaner burning biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels to make a significant contribution.

For more information about clean diesel technology for heavy duty machinery, visit the website of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Source: PR NewsWire


Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.