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Union Pacific testing locomotive PM control technologies

19 April 2006

The Union Pacific railway of Omaha, NB, announced it is testing technologies to reduce diesel emissions, especially particulate matter, in older railroad locomotives. Through collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, Union Pacific is providing a 3,800 hp SD60M locomotive built in January 1992, to serve as the first freight locomotive in North America to be equipped with a set of diesel oxidation catalysts manufactured by Miratech Corporation of Tulsa, OK.

Another locomotive, a 1,500 hp yard switching unit built in November 1982, will be retrofitted with a MobiClean™ diesel particulate filter (DPF) system, also supplied by Miratech. The DPF initiative is the result of a 4-year program, funded in part by Union Pacific, to assess clean engine technologies for locomotive applications.

The MobiClean DPF system utilizes silicon carbide wall-flow monoliths to capture diesel particulates. The filter features an active fuel burner regeneration system developed by HUG Engineering of Switzerland. It is the first application of an active DPF system on a rail locomotive in North America. The HUG DPF system was launched last year in Europe, with several hundred of systems currently in operation on locomotives in Switzerland and Germany.

The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) of San Antonio, TX is handling the modification of the SDM60 locomotive and installation of the oxidation catalyst. Upon installation, SwRI will perform EPA locomotive emission tests to verify the PM emission reductions. Afterward, Union Pacific will relocate the locomotive to the Los Angeles Basin for at least one year of regular service with the new catalytic converter to test real-life conditions operating in over-the-road freight service. The DPF-equipped yard switching locomotive will be returned to service in Oakland, CA, in September.

Source: Union Pacific