18 January 2003
Caterpillar Inc. announced it received certification by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its first engine equipped with the Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction (ACERT) technology. Caterpillar engines will use this technology as a long-term emissions solution for the North American trucking, bus, construction and mining industries, and to meet future EPA emission regulations for both highway and nonroad engines.
ACERT is a technology that reduces emissions at the point of combustion, using a combination of engine electronics, fuel injection and combustion techniques, said Caterpillar, but no more technical details were given. In earlier announcements Caterpillar said the ACERT package utilized a next generation HEUI fuel system, advanced electronic engine control, and exhaust gas aftertreatment (diesel oxidation catalyst), but no cooled EGR.
The first EPA certified ACERT engine is the C9, which is primarily used in emergency and recreational vehicles, mass transit buses, and vocational class trucks such as refuse haulers and dump trucks. Caterpillar plans to start full production of the C9 with ACERT technology in the first quarter of this year.
All Caterpillar on-highway truck and bus engines will be equipped with ACERT technology by the fourth quarter of 2003. The technology will also be used to meet future emissions regulations for Caterpillar’s entire diesel engine product line, including construction and mining machines and power generation units.
Under the consent decree signed in 1998 between Caterpillar and the EPA, Caterpillar was required to meet the 2004 emission standards (2.5 g/bhp-hr NMHC+NOx) beginning in 2002 October 15 months ahead of time (similar agreements were signed by most other US engine manufacturers). The full ACERT technology, however, was not ready by that deadline. Beginning in October, Caterpillar introduced “bridge engines”, incorporating some components of the ACERT package, which were certified above the 2.5 g standard and, thus, subject to nonconformance penalties to the EPA. Based on the same consent decree, Caterpillar nonroad engines meeting the 2006 Tier 3 standard must by launched in 2005.