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Emission reduction demonstration program to be launched in California

7 October 1999

Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) announced its participation in an Emission Reduction Demonstration Program to be held in Southern California. The program, conducted in cooperation with ARCO, Johnson Matthey, and Engelhard, and other engine and vehicle manufacturers, including Cummins, Navistar, and Ford will evaluate ARCO's new fuel and exhaust treatment devices designed to reduce particulate emissions.

The demonstration program has been developed and will be run with assistance and guidance from the California Air Resources Board, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Energy, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. West Virginia University will be performing the majority of emission testing.

The demonstration will utilize ARCO's new clean diesel fuel named Emission Control Diesel (EC-D). EC-D diesel fuel enables catalyst and particulate filter technologies that are intolerant to sulfur and cannot be employed with today's standard diesel fuels.

Detroit Diesel said it considered fuel sulfur as a critical component for ongoing emission reductions and for the introduction of catalytic converters and particulate filters to further reduce particulate and NOx emissions.

The maximum sulfur specification of the EC-D is 15 ppm, compared with the current US highway fuel standard of 500 ppm. Actual EC-D sulfur levels are typically below 10 ppm, sometimes less than 2 ppm. The EC-D is also characterized by high cetane number, of minimum 57, and low aromatics content of maximum 12%. In addition to being a "technology enabler", the EC-D was reported to lower exhaust emission levels in the already existing fleet of diesel powered vehicles.

Over 160 vehicles will operate on EC-D fuel during this demonstration program, out of which approximately one hundred use DDC engines. Vehicles operated by Ralph’s Grocery tractor trailer trucks, Santa Monica City Big Blue Buses, Los Angeles City refuse and street maintenance trucks, Hertz Equipment pickup trucks, San Diego School District school buses, and ARCO gasoline tanker trucks will demonstrate the benefits of the EC-D diesel alone, as well as coupled with exhaust treatment. The exhaust treatment devices to be evaluated include passive regenerating, catalyzed particulate filters, expected to produce very low particulate matter emissions.

According to DDC, clean diesel fuel may well be the best "alternative fuel" for the State of California and the rest of the United States. Tim Tindall, Director of Emissions Programs at Detroit Diesel said, "As a result of this demonstration, we expect to show the viability of low sulfur diesel fuels along with an 80-90% reduction in particulate matter, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions out of the tailpipe. In addition, we will demonstrate the viability of retrofitting catalytic technology for existing vehicles."

Source: Detroit Diesel, ARCO