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April 19, 2022   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Earth Day 2022: A Look Ahead

From Maximizing Fuel Efficiency to Embracing Renewable Biodiesel Fuels

People around the world will observe Earth Day on Friday, working together to help improve the health of our planet. As we all work together to tackle the challenge of global climate change, the Diesel Technology Forum celebrates those who are taking steps to provide a brighter future for others, on Earth Day and every day.

Engine and equipment makers, component suppliers and fuel producers are leading the way with strategies to decarbonize transportation and other sectors of the economy. Alongside the development of new fuels and technologies is the continuous improvement in diesel engines. 

Diesel is the most energy-efficient internal combustion engine and the prime mover for key sectors of our global economy. Today’s generation of advanced diesel engines minimizes the production of emissions through efficient combustion while controlling remaining emissions through advanced technologies like particulate filters, oxidation catalysts, and selective catalytic reduction systems. This enables new diesel engines to achieve near-zero emissions with increasing fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Further improvements in emissions are not only possible, they’re on the horizon.

Those same advanced diesel engines, as well as older diesel engines, are capable of running on low-carbon renewable biofuels. Taken together, these elements make diesel technology part of the solution to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They lower GHG and other emissions 20-80% compared to conventional diesel fuel.

Billions of gallons of renewable biodiesel fuels are used each year, 3 billion in 2021 alone. Imagine the opportunity for using more biodiesel fuels in the millions of existing vehicles and equipment, without the need for new vehicles or infrastructure. We can use billions more as we work together to tackle climate change.

As we recently testified to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the latest generation of advanced diesel technology is a success story. The technology, standard in commercial trucks on the road since 2011 and farm and construction equipment since 2014, has achieved more than 98% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Since 2011, this has translated into saving more than 20 billion gallons of fuel, along with associated emissions benefits (preventing 202 million metric tons of GHG emissions and 27 million metric tons of NOx emissions).

Imagine if we could get more of the current generation of advanced diesel technology on the road, while using even more advanced low-carbon renewable biodiesel fuels! That will continue to deliver everything we need; air quality improvements and sustaining progress on climate change. That’s something everyone should support.


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