American automakers planned on releasing more diesel models for many years. But after a twenty-year worth of failure curbing its environmentally harmful emissions, the idea has met public criticism.
Critics have blamed diesel emissions for a number of things: climate change, ozone depletion, smog, and health issues, including, lung diseases, blood problems, DNA mutations – and even death.
When the manufacturers expressed the idea for more diesel engines in the US, critics raised the alarm. If people want to increase diesel use in passenger vehicles, the fuel had to be “clean”, at least.
Explaining “Clean” Diesel
The regular diesel has sulfur levels of 500 parts per million (ppm). To be clean, diesel fuel has to have ultra-low sulfur levels of 15 ppm.
Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) is the first step toward decreasing particulate emissions, enabling after-treatment technology that regular diesel would have clogged. These components may include catalytic converters, particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction (SCR).
SCR introduces diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) into the exhaust. DEF, or urea, aims to lower NOx concentration in the diesel exhaust emissions from engines, says Certified DEF. The urea solution is clear, non-toxic, and safe to handle.
Thus, emissions from “clean” diesel are not the concentrated, black grimy mix found in regular diesel.
Response to Clean Diesel
Diesel proponents claim DEF is the best answer to the dirty diesel problem, but diesel opponents and “environmental extremists” say that clean diesel is nothing but a marketing jargon used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
If there’s one thing they can agree on, it’s that clean diesel is significantly less harmful to the health and environment, and does reduce the nasty effects of regular diesel.
As a result of EPA regulations, diesel engines have never been cleaner. And with the help DEF, Americans can work together to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust from old, dirty engines and adopt a safer, cleaner environment.