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Nicholas Carey
06-05-2006, 08:17 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060605/ts_csm/adiesel

As of 1 June 2006, new EPA regulations went into effect requiring
...US refineries to begin making ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), a fuel with 97 percent less sulfur than ordinary diesel that, as a result, slashes soot emissions.

The rule, which mandates that 80 percent of the diesel produced for highway use be ULSD-compliant, was just the first step. By Oct. 15, all filling stations now selling diesel will be required to sell ULSD instead of or in addition to diesel." [more (http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060605/ts_csm/adiesel)]
When can I get my new Alfa Brera (http://www.brera.alfaromeo.com/)?

http://www.alfaromeo.com/


http://www.alfaromeo.com/ALFAROMEO_COM/uploads/PB_MODEL_EDITORIAL/1074075848/20051202/03_b.jpg

Bob Adams
06-05-2006, 09:56 PM
Great for the ecology, but wait till you see the price hike.

High C
06-05-2006, 10:25 PM
Great for the ecology...

Not when cost and overly strict emmissions standards make diesel ownership impractical. Between the higher cost of ULSD, and the stricter 2007 diesel emmissions regs, guess what? The only diesel car left in the US market is Mercedes, and owners are going to hate maintaining the particulate filters that are necessary to meet the new standards.

If the point is to save fuel, we've just blown it. Back to the gas hogs...

davidagage
06-06-2006, 05:08 AM
Biodiesel...
But that won't become a viable fuel source untill the big oil companies can figure out how to profit from it.
Right now my diesel consumption is about 300 gallons a year, easily obtainable in the "home brew fashion" I am working with 2 other engineers in my group to build our own processor to convert up to 60 gallons a day of waste veggie oil (WVO) into biodiesel. Another thing to consider is home heating. Went through $3k of # 2 heating oil this past winter in the the house in Maine which is essentially diesel. Blend that with the biodiesel and save 50%.
The plant I where I work has swapped to bio in all their trucks (large and small, and cranes to a 50% blend and will to 90% blend in 2-3 years. They have the facilities to make it themselves in Arkansas for internal use only (once it hits the streets you have to pay the fuel taxes on it).

IMHO Bio is a better solution than ULSD, but the big oil companies can't/won't produce it, farmers that grow the feed stocks for it get subsidies that limit growth etc. etc. etc. ( I am probably wrong on this but wouldn't doubt it).

Nick, the ALFA is cool, there are many great diesels across the east pond I wish we had access to.

nuff ramblings for now.

DG

Keith Wilson
06-06-2006, 08:12 AM
If the point is to save fuel, we've just blown it. Back to the gas hogs...Back to the gas hogs? Suuuuuure. Only if you have the delusion that the only alternative to a dirty diesel vehicle is something like a Dodge Durango. There are plenty of cars available today that get decent mileage with gasoline - far better than the vast majority of vehicles on the road today.

HighC, has there ever been any environmental regulation that you liked?

High C
06-06-2006, 08:44 AM
...HighC, has there ever been any environmental regulation that you liked?


What an absurd thing for you to say. :rolleyes: I probably do more to consume less fuel and energy than most of the blowhard chest beaters on this forum.

We may have just killed off the most efficient cars in this nation with overly stringent emmissions regulations, a lost opportunity to produce less CO2 and decrease dependency on foreign oil. That's what's most important right, CO2? Or is it NOX, which is a relatively benign, but more visible pollutant. We've just reduced NOX at the expense of creating more CO2. That's not smart.

Popeye
06-06-2006, 08:51 AM
brown air generally tells me something is wrong

Keith Wilson
06-06-2006, 09:01 AM
Sorry, HighC, perhaps I got carried away. Do you know how much the new regulations will raise the price of diesel fuel? My understanding was that the wide availability of low-sulfur fuel will allow the use of improved emissions-control devices to reduce both NOX and particulate emissions, (sort of like unleaded gasoline allowed the use of catalytic converters) and eventually encourage diesel cars rather than discourage them - although over the next year or two it may reduce the number of models available. At least five manufacturers have announced that they'll introduce small diesels in the US. It seems to me that low-sulfur diesel will allow cleaner small diesel engines (diesel particulates are a significant health problem) and be a significant long-term benefit.

Here's a link to an article from Oak Ridge Labs on low-sulfur diesel:
http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/v33_3_00/emissions.htm

High C
06-06-2006, 09:27 AM
... Do you know how much the new regulations will raise the price of diesel fuel?...[/URL]

Keith, its not the price of ULSD that is the problem, though if diesel exceeds the cost of gasoline by much, it will certainly hurt its appeal, it's the new 2007 particulate limits that ere the problem. Though several manufacturers claim to be poised to expand diesel offerings in this market, they are at present doing just the opposite. VW will sell NO 2007 model diesels in the US! That is the vast majority of US diesel car sales, gone.

These manufacturers are sitting back hoping someone else solves the particulate regulation problem. The only maker toughing it out is Mercedes, and their solution looks like it will not work. Theirs is a hopelessly maintenance intensive filtering of ALL exhaust. VW, and others, have deemed this impractical and are biding their time to see what happens. All this over particulates, which, Popeye, are far less "wrong" than some of the invisible stuff. Remember CO2? Isn't that the thing that's going to kill us all?

Fewer particulates at the expense of more CO2. Is that a move in the right direction?

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2006, 12:12 PM
Another thing to consider is home heating. Went through $3k of # 2 heating oil this past winter in the the house in Maine which is essentially diesel. Blend that with the biodiesel and save 50%.Somebody I know here in Seattle (my barista -- she makes a mean latte :D) heated her house with straight biodiesel this winter. It cost more than #2 fuel oil, but in her opinion, the fact the money wasn't going Exxon/Mobil was more than worth it. She's been running a late 70s M-B 240D on biodiesel for years as well.


Right-O. I just picked the Alfa as an example.

Popeye
06-06-2006, 12:15 PM
i can heat my house with broccoli

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2006, 12:15 PM
...it's the new 2007 particulate limits that ere the problem....VW will sell NO 2007 model diesels in the US! That is the vast majority of US diesel car sales, gone.That's because diesel emissions regs are tightening up on the NOx emissions allowable, not particulate emissions.

VW's current crop of diesels can't meet the new rules for the moment, so diesels won't be available until the tweak the engines/computers and get them dialed in for the new rules.

And I'm willing to bet the engine remodel was postponed the redesign until after the ULSD conversion, for cost concerns.

High C
06-06-2006, 12:18 PM
That's because diesel emissions regs are tightening up on the NOx emissions allowable. VW's current crop of diesels can't meet the new rules for the moment, so diesels won't be available until the tweak the engines/computers and get them dialed in for the new rules.

I believe that's what I said. And computer tweaks won't do it. The particuate issue is much more difficult than that.

The greater point being that we should be careful not to throw out the highly efficient baby with the bath water.

Popeye
06-06-2006, 12:37 PM
one of the issues with the VW TDI and other diesel car engines was the relative cost increase over the gas engine making it not practical , the other was the frequent and expensive oil changes required to maintain the engine , the larger than normal spin on oil filters are also costly

diesel fuel with a high sulphur content produces a sulphuric acid when burned in the combustion chamber with water from the air and this acid ending up in the crank case is bad news , hence the oil change business, supposedly the 'clean' diesel will help improve on this problem

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-06-2006, 12:50 PM
So, there we have it, you can go low sulfur no diesel burn lots of gasoline and output tons of CO2 but little NOx or particulates and the kids in the city don't choke but Loiusiana and Florida drown.

Or - vice versa.

All in the name of entertainment.

Milo Christensen
06-06-2006, 12:57 PM
brown air generally tells me something is wrong

Yup, generally means that Good Ole Dutch is back again or that Memphis Mike's in a bad mood.

High C
06-06-2006, 02:50 PM
...issues with the VW TDI...frequent and expensive oil changes required to maintain the engine , the larger than normal spin on oil filters are also costly....

Some incorrect things here, Popeye.

1) The VW TDI oil change interval is the longest in the industry, 10,000 miles.

2) The oil filters are not spin ons at all, rather the replaceable element type, and cost about $7. The oil is rather special, VW spec 505.01 semi-synthetic, imported to the US only by Castrol and Motul runs about $6 a quart.

The oil changes on the TDI are more costly, maybe double to triple the cost of a typical gasoline engine, but given the double to triple mileage interval, it runs about the same cost, with less frequent bother. The other maintenence items are pretty typical of a gas burner.

Dan McCosh
06-06-2006, 04:37 PM
Couple of things here. The regulated emissions for diesel engines are unburned fuel (HC); carbon monoxide (CO); and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Particulates are a specific kind of unburned fuel that is spit out of the exhaust as a solid--almost pure carbon. Current diesels ar pretty good on HC and CO, but about five times worse than gas engines on NOX. Gas engines don't emit particulates. The 2007 regs call for a sharp reduciton in NOx and partuculates; and the 2010 regs basically say diesels must be about as clean as a gas engine. The technical hurdle is mainly NOx--which is formed from the high combustion temperatures. The lean mixture of a diesel, which is one reason it get good fuel economy, prevents catalysts from eliminating the NOx. Anyway, NOx is the big problem, not particulates. The later can be filtered by a trap that periodically burns them off, and is self-cleaning. Mercedes had to recall this system about 10 years ago when it was failing, but more modern traps work pretty well. The problem with NOx is that most of the system that eliminate them also hurt fuel economy. The suspicion is that a fully certified diesel with a good emission system will not be that much better in fuel economy than a gas engine. The converse also is true--a gas engine could get much better fuel economy if it was allowed higher NOx levels. The two kind of converge--all based on allowable NOx levels. Europeans in particular tolerate dirtier air as a tradeoff for better fuel economy. So far, the US has not.

High C
06-06-2006, 05:08 PM
Dan, if we accept the fact that CO2 is such a dangerous pollutant, said to be the primary cause of global warming, why do you suppose our emmissions regs don't give reduction of CO2 top priority? Why would they be so tight with NOx and particulates of diesels if it means fewer (low C02 producing) diesel vehicles?

Which is worse, NOx, or C02? Does the EPA know? Does anyone? Given the hysteria over CO2, it would seem a no brainer that we'd be better off driving filthy old fashioned diesels, as long as they are fuel efficient and produce little CO2.

These new, unmeetable regs (for the moment) on diesels mean more CO2 in the atmosphere. What's wrong with this picture?

Dan McCosh
06-06-2006, 05:25 PM
It's an interesting question. NOx was identified in the early 1960s as a prime component of photochemical smog--the brown scum you seen in the atmosphere. The emission regulations that ensued were aimed at dramatically reducing HC, CO, and NOx--all of which are poisionous gases, as well as producing visible air polllution. The system that were developed were aimed at turning these toxins into presumably harmless CO2 and water. These chemicals are not only non-toxic in conventional terms, they are essential to biological life. The recognition of the potential hazard posed by CO2 from fossil fuels came later. As a tradeoff, however, it is still between truly poisionous gases and something that is only harmful in gross excess.

It's also worth noting that while diesels are more fuel efficient than gas engines, diesel fuel also contains more carbon than gasoline, which further reduces the effectiveness of diesels in reducing CO2.

Meerkat
06-06-2006, 05:25 PM
Doesn't NOx destroy the ozone layer?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-06-2006, 05:33 PM
Doesn't NOx destroy the ozone layer?
Not very effectively - they are good at the photochemical smog thing in southern california - in sane sensible places, like Wales or Seattle they are washed out of the atmosphere rapidly as acid rain.....

You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Nicholas Carey
06-06-2006, 06:21 PM
Doesn't NOx destroy the ozone layer?

SOx + H2O + sunlight/heat --> H2SO4 (Sulphuric acid)

NOx + H2) + sunlight/heat --> H2NO3 (Nitric acid)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain

Some lakes in Killareny Provincial Park (Ontario, nearish to Sudbury) have Ph levels approaching battery acid. The lake water is clear, though -- visibility 30-50 feet. That's because the lakes are sterile. Not even algae grows.

Bob Adams
06-06-2006, 07:24 PM
Interestingly enough, I just read how Jeep is discontinuing the diesel option in the Liberty because it does not meet next years EPA standards. I'm sure the gas engines used instead will more than make up for the diesel emissions with increased fuel usage. Was a damn nifty vehicle too.

Keith Wilson
06-06-2006, 08:20 PM
I'm sure the gas engines used instead will more than make up for the diesel emissions with increased fuel usage.CO2 yes; the regulated pollutants (CO, hydrocarbons, NOX) no. Regulated emissions are measured per mile, not per gallon of fuel burned.

FWIW, particularly in the US, we could reduce fuel consumption with zero additional (regulated) pollution by driving slightly smaller vehicles, even - I realize this is heresy - cars instead of SUVs? Consider that a 4 cylinder Toyota Camry, hardly a small car, gets 24 mpg city, as opposed to 17 mpg for the gas-burning Jeep Liberty and 22 mpg for the diesel. It might be a good idea until clean diesel technology catches up.

epoxyboy
06-07-2006, 01:35 AM
Biodiesel...
Went through $3k of # 2 heating oil this past winter in the the house in Maine which is essentially diesel.DG

I'm curious - how many months do you run the heating for, how big is the house, how hot is it and does it have ANY insulation?
It just sounds like an industrial strength heating bill - the sort of thing you get when the heating is on full blast 24/7 for a long time in a large poorly insulated house.
New Zealand went to ULSD quite recently, and I dont think it made a huge difference to the price at the pump - nothing you would notice amoungst all the other fuel price rises, anyway. But now that I think about it, there has been a HUGE reduction in the amount of exhaust smoke from some of the older diesel vehicles in particular. The problem rearing its ugly head now is that some older injector pumps are failing and leaking. The sulphur and other components in ordinary diesel kept rubber seals swollen and helped lubricate the injector pump.

Pete

davidagage
06-07-2006, 04:46 AM
Pete, the house is 150 years old, steam radiator heat system and was kept at 60 degF. It is large at 5600 SF with 10 foot high cielings so you are looking at 56K cubic feet of heated space. The walls are well insulated and the house is tight but it does have a lot of window space (26 that are approx 3'X6' tall). In talkin with the neighbors I found this type of bill pretty consistant.

So imagine, approx 1000 gallons of diesel, open flame X the number of houses that use fuel oil= how much emmisions during a 4 month time (winter) vs. vehicular (car and truck diesel) emmisions.

DG

Popeye
06-07-2006, 07:49 AM
Some incorrect things here, Popeye.

1) The VW TDI oil change interval is the longest in the industry, 10,000 miles.

2) The oil filters are not spin ons at all, rather the replaceable element type, and cost about $7. The oil is rather special, VW spec 505.01 semi-synthetic, imported to the US only by Castrol and Motul runs about $6 a quart.

The oil changes on the TDI are more costly, maybe double to triple the cost of a typical gasoline engine, but given the double to triple mileage interval, it runs about the same cost, with less frequent bother. The other maintenence items are pretty typical of a gas burner.

i stand corrected ,

actually there are a couple more flies in the ointment , the first oil change interval is 5k , after that it's 10k

and 5L of 505.01 and filter run ~ $45 parts only , a dealer installed item will be more , plus the fuel filter water separator will need to be drained , or entire fuel filter replaced on the newer ones , since there is no water drain plug

plus plus , realize there is gunk built up in the oil filter housing so that needs to be cleaned out too , realistic dealer oil change service about $100.00

DIY driveway job on a gas engine will be less than 20 bucks , or a drive thru quicky lube about 25 bucks

High C
06-07-2006, 08:05 AM
...realistic dealer oil change service about $100.00

DIY driveway job on a gas engine will be less than 20 bucks...


That's in line with what I said, double to triple for oil changes.

I do the driveway job, to be sure it's done right, mainly. The oil costs $30 (Motul 505.01 from World Impex), the filter $7, plus shipping. Given the interval of 10K miles, it's my cheapest car (oil changes).

Dan McCosh
06-07-2006, 08:52 AM
Pete, the house is 150 years old, steam radiator heat system and was kept at 60 degF. It is large at 5600 SF with 10 foot high cielings so you are looking at 56K cubic feet of heated space. The walls are well insulated and the house is tight but it does have a lot of window space (26 that are approx 3'X6' tall). In talkin with the neighbors I found this type of bill pretty consistant.

So imagine, approx 1000 gallons of diesel, open flame X the number of houses that use fuel oil= how much emmisions during a 4 month time (winter) vs. vehicular (car and truck diesel) emmisions.

DG

Another interesting question. Emissions from a steady open flame are a bit different than those from an internal combustion engine. Combustion temperatures are lower, as the air isn't compressed. The oxygen ratio can be controlled easily, as it is a steady burn. That's why you can use a cooking stove in your house, which will generally not kill you if you keep the burners adjusted, while running the same fuel in an IC engine indoors probably would. Still, there are pollutants that could be captured by a catalytic system. The gains don't seem to be worthwhile, as far as I know. If you are talking about CO2 production, of course, fuel is fuel regardless of where it is burned--i seem to remember home residential is about 20% or so of total US useage of fuel--about half that of cars, mainly due to the fact that the whole country doesn't need to heat their homes.

sbsbw
06-11-2006, 09:43 PM
This is one subject that really pisses me off.

I am fairly (read i care alot, but i'm not a vegitarian) envirionmentally concious, but on this issue i belive that the Feds have completely missed the point. Diesels are so much more efficent than gas engines, if they weren't than you wouldn't see every thing bigger than the dumbass who baught the 1ton GM pickup with the 8 liter engine driving around diesels.

California has in effect kill the gas milage of much of this country. all of their hairbrained pollution restrictions create a situation where car manufactures are create cars with such complex systems that it is virtually impossible for exaust gas to escape from the engine. thus decreasing the gas mileage. Oh, and don't even get me started on all of the safety devices that have added to the weight of cars. My 87 golf gets a solid 35 miles to the gallon, with a huge ass roof rack.

It is also because of this that we do not see diesel half ton trucks. half-tons are considred passenger cars so they must meet the same requirements as the VW and Mercedes diesels.


Went through $3k of # 2 heating oil this past winter in the the house in Maine which is essentially diesel.

I know you have a large house, but that seems really high to me, then again i do heat my 2700ft^2 house on 2.5 cords of wood, but still that seems high. Thier should be an organisatoin locally that weatherizes houses for low income folks, and these organisations are usually more than happy to do a for-profit job.