The US EPA and Ford Motor are refining and testing the potential for commercial application of a new diesel combustion technology that meets stringent EPA tailpipe emission standards. This is the second phase of a research agreement between Ford and EPA to examine a new emissions control technology called Clean Diesel Combustion (CDC), which was developed and patented by EPA.
The EPA first discussed the concept of CDC in 2000, and then went on to develop it with FEV. In 2004, the EPA announced a partnership with International to test the new technology in heavy-duty truck applications. At the time, EPA suggested that an unnamed automaker would be working on implementing a version of CDC for passenger vehicles—and that would be Ford.
At their announcement, Ford and EPA showcased a Ford Galaxy minivan using the new clean diesel technology. The diesel minivan gets 30–40% better mileage than a gasoline minivan, while meeting EPA’s emission standards for nitrogen oxide (NOx) of .07 grams per mile (Tier 2 bin 5).
Clean Diesel Combustion technology combines several innovative improvements in diesel fuel injection system performance, re-optimization and refinement of air management and turbo-charging systems, and an improved combustion system. The result is a combustion process that does not produce NOx during fuel combustion, thus avoiding the need for NOx controls in the exhaust system, and that maintains the fuel efficiency of the diesel platform.
Diesel engines are an extremely attractive technology to help achieve EPA’s future emissions standards. The challenge has been to maintain diesel’s efficiency, while making the diesel ultra-clean in a cost effective manner. Moving these types of innovative technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace is essential, if we are to continue to improve air quality for all Americans.Jeff Holmstead, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation
I’ll provide more detail on the CDC process subsequently [Update: here.] This is another proof point that Ford is getting more aggressive with diesel technology in the US—a very good move.