Technology 3 min read

New Engine Technology can Reduce Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

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petrmalinak /

SwRI is developing a near-zero emission engine technology for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a state organization charged with combatting air pollution.

Main Takeaways:

  • SwRI engineers created engine technology to reduce Nitrogen Oxide emissions.
  • The technology achieves a 90 percent reduction of diesel engine NOx emissions.
  • The engine also reduces CO2 emissions.

Reports from the Environmental Protection Agency suggest that nitrogen oxide emissions are harmful to human health.

It’s no wonder that the state of California intends to introduce tighter emission requirements in 2024. According to the new standards, heavy-duty engines will be required to produce fewer pollutants.

In response to a request from CARB, engineers at SwRI took an essential step in this direction. The researchers managed to develop a near-zero emission engine technology.

In a statement, a SwRI research engineer, and member of the low NOx development team, Bryan Zavala said:

“Through the continued efforts of a multidisciplinary team, SwRI has developed one of the most fuel-efficient, low-emission diesel engines in the world.”

Here’s how it happened.

Developing a New Engine Technology to Reduce Nitrogen Oxide Emissions

In 2013, CARB asked Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to explore approaches for achieving ultra-low Nitrogen Oxide targets in three stages.

These are :

  1. Assessing the feasibility of lowering engine Nitrogen Oxide emissions
  2. Developing a low-load certification cycle to gauge engine performance
  3. Developing a near-zero-emission engine technology

They did!

While the researchers at SwRI have already completed the first two stages, the third and final stage is still ongoing. And this involves developing a new engine technology to reduce NOx emissions.

For this part, the engineers modified a 2017 Cummins X15 engine architecture. After that, they integrated after-treatment technology and enhanced control to create a near-zero emission engine technology.

Thanks to this system approach, the SwRI engineers have managed to meet CARB’s emission goals to reduce NOx by 90 percent. Besides, the engine also has an added benefit of lowering CO2 emissions simultaneously.

Speaking on the project, CARB Vehicle Program Specialist, Dr. Williams Robertson, said:

“These types of simultaneous NOx and greenhouse gas solutions are key to creating sustainable heavy-duty transportation and meeting our public health obligations.”

Currently, SwRI is still evaluating the system and its Nitrogen Oxide reduction performance under realistic operating conditions. These include hypothermal stress as well as catalyst contamination.

They should publish a final result this summer.

Read More: Global Carbon Emission Drops by 17% due to the Pandemic

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Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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