Allen Schaeffer of the Diesel Technology Forum made the following statement in advance of the Environmental Protection Agency's designation of areas of states that do not meet new standards for fine particulate matter.
"These designations issued today are not a reflection that air quality is getting worse; rather that the standards are getting tougher as we continue to challenge ourselves to improve our environment. In fact, very recent evidence tells us that our nation is making great strides toward cleaner air.
"The diesel industry has played a large role in contributing to this clean air progress as better engines, cleaner fuels and advanced emissions control systems have lead to dramatic improvements in diesel technology across the board. Taken together, fine particle emissions from all diesel engine categories accounted for just five percent of the nation's inventory of fine particles.
"Still, industry is committed to being part of the clean air solution and continues to work to further reduce emissions from all diesel engines. The most recent EPA standards -- supported by the diesel industry -- were promulgated for off-road diesel engines used in construction, farming and mining equipment.
"Successful implementation of these new diesel engine emission standards will be critical for state compliance with these new fine particle standards.
"Aside from meeting new emissions standards, industry also advocates for emissions reductions from existing diesel engines through roadside diesel emissions inspection programs and is working side-by-side with EPA and states to advocate for funding and implementation of voluntary diesel retrofit programs as a cost-effective way to help meet clean air standards.
"The diesel industry is committed to continuous progress and is working to attack the emissions challenge on all fronts. We look forward to continued collaboration with EPA and other stakeholders nationwide in advocating for cleaner air nationwide," Mr. Schaeffer concluded.
An example of the industry's effort is that nearly one million clean, diesel-powered vehicles will be on the road in Europe by early 2005, and the same technology that keeps them clean could soon be demonstrated in North America.
The million-vehicle milestone proves that available catalyst technology eliminates the black, sooty clouds of diesels, without compromising the power and acceleration essential for passenger vehicles, buses and heavy-duty trucks.
To introduce this proven technology in North America, Rhodia's Electronics and Catalysis business is redoubling its efforts to clear regulatory reviews and introduce the company's Eolys fuel-borne catalyst to the U.S. vehicle market for heavy and light duty diesel applications.
"Rhodia's Eolys fuel-borne catalyst, combined with a diesel particulate filter, eliminates smoke particulates," explains Chris York of Rhodia. "It's safe, reliable, economical and it's already proven effective on nearly a million cars."
York continues, "The combination of Eolys with a diesel particulate filter is the most efficient, most reliable and sustainable solution currently available at an industrial scale for volume application. By using this combination in the post-treatment system, you achieve spectacular results: more than 99 percent of soot particulates are eliminated."
Eolys is a technically advanced, rare earth-based fuel-borne catalyst. When added to diesel fuel in trace amounts, it promotes the combustion of the soot collected by the DPF and allows its fast, complete and safe regeneration, a key feature of this best available technology. The Eolys catalyst can be premixed or added to the vehicle tank via an automatic, on-board dosing system. Engine performance and durability are not affected in the process and the fuel penalty of an emissions filter is minimized versus competing technologies.
Rhodia is a global specialty chemicals company recognized for its strong technology positions in applications chemistry, specialty materials and services, and fine chemicals.
The Diesel Technology Forum represents manufacturers of engines, fuel, and emissions control systems.