The Diesel Engine Evolution11 Jan 2021, Posted by McPherson Oil in Industry Information
In the past two decades, several significant advances have been made in diesel engine technology to curb exhaust emissions:
• High-pressure common-rail fuel injection (HPCR): Enables very precise control of engine fuelling and improves
spray characteristics for a cleaner, more efficient burn
• Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR): Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission reduction device that recirculates exhaust gas back through the engine to reduce combustion temperatures
• Selective catalytic reduction (SCR): An emissions control device built into the exhaust system that turns NOx emissions into nitrogen and water using a catalyst and urea solution (diesel exhaust fluid/DEF/AdBlue)
• Diesel particulate filter (DPF): Controls particulate matter (PM) emissions by filtering them out of the exhaust; the accumulated PM must be burned off periodically in a process called regeneration.
The Road Ahead for DieselWe now find ourselves in an era where fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions are at the regulatory forefront. Stringent requirements for fuel economy will necessitate more holistic changes to vehicle design. From an engine technology perspective, this includes lower viscosity lubricants, low friction coatings, higher performance common rail fuel injection systems, and advanced thermal management. However, engines, drivelines, aerodynamics, running gear, and driver-assist features must all contribute in order to meet future regulations.
More sophisticated technology incorporated into modern diesel engines will lead to an increased need for higher quality fuel. In response, fuel suppliers are putting emphasis on product testing to ensure the proper fit. ExxonMobil, for example, has prioritized rigorous testing procedures for their Mobil Diesel Efficient™ fuel product in both modern and legacy vehicles. Testing has found that by improving injector cleanliness, Mobil Diesel Efficient fuel improves fuel economy by an average of 2 percent in Class 8 heavy-duty trucks while reducing NOx emissions. Evidently, the power of today’s fuel and engine solutions is rooted in their balance of fuel economy and environmental benefits.
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