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SwRI to launch 7th clean diesel engine consortium

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is launching Clean High-Efficiency Diesel Engine VII (CHEDE-VII), the seventh phase of the industry’s longest-running diesel research consortium. The kick-off meeting for the four-year, multi-client cooperative research program, which is open to potential new members, will be 5 November at SwRI headquarters in San Antonio.

Consortium members will select research topics related to low-emission, high-efficiency diesel engine technology. Building on more than 24 years of experience, CHEDE-VII will develop pre-competitive diesel engine technology initiatives to address the needs of industry five to 10 years into the future.

We will suggest a number of research areas that we think are important for the consortium membership to investigate. The members, though, will determine the direction of the research over the four years.

—Dr. Charles Roberts, a director in SwRI’s Engine, Emissions, and Vehicle Research Division and the program lead

Over the past quarter of a century, membership in the consortium has included major diesel engine manufacturers as well as electronics, fuels and lubricants, and other affiliated systems suppliers.

The CHEDE-VI Consortium, which began in November 2011, pursued goals including research and demonstration of technologies to achieve 55% engine-system efficiency consisting of an engine goal of approximately 48% BTE plus waste energy recovery to bring the total to 55% BTE.

Consortium membership allows companies to share costs and access more research than would be feasible if funded individually. Additionally, members receive royalty-free licensing for all intellectual property produced during the consortium.

Membership in CHEDE-VII will be $120,000 per year for engine and vehicle original equipment manufacturers and $70,000 annually for supplier companies. Limited supplier memberships are available at $50,000 per year, which allow participation in the meetings, but limit rights to intellectual property and voting.

SwRI manages a number of automotive consortia including High-Efficiency, Dilute Gasoline Engine (HEDGE) focusing on improving gasoline engine technology (earlier post); Advanced Combustion Catalyst and Aftertreatment Technologies (AC2AT), which is looking at emissions solutions for future engines (earlier post); the Particle Sensor Performance and Durability (PSPD) program, aimed at evaluating heavy-duty engine exhaust sensors (earlier post); and the Energy Storage System Evaluation and Safety (EssEs) consortium focusing on the energy storage requirements for future transportation (earlier post).



I wonder what the number one conversation topic will be ?

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It is rightly called dirty diesel. So called "clean diesel" or "clean coal" is as deceptive as "healthy smoking".
A clean burning engine should only emit water vapour and nothing else. Only fuel cell vehicles and battery electric vehicles are truly clean. The rest are all pollution the air and calling it clean should be a criminal offence because it is misleading marketing. Air pollution kills 7 million people prematurely every year.
This is not funny and should not be taken lightly. It needs to stop.

WHO on 7 million premature air pollution deaths.



I think you could allow CO2 as well as H2O.
CO2 is clean, NOX, soot, HC etc are definitely not and cause local pollution.
CO2 "only" causes global warming.

- JM

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Mahonj I did consider to allow for CO2 as it does not cause air pollution. However, as you say it does cause global warming and unless you can make the fuel by using atmospheric CO2 I do not think it qualifies for a clean engine exhaust. Biofuels do that (CO2 neutral) but they use lots of land for growing corn and that means less space for nature and biodiversity. Not acceptable either. Whether it is possible to make an ultra clean synthetic fuel like DME from solar and wind power and atmospheric CO2 I do not know. It is not happening anytime soon for sure. But say it could be done. Then maybe it would also be possible to invent a compact reformer to make clean hydrogen, heat and CO2 for use in a FCV. There is a lot of ifs here. I think the only viable way is BEVs. Make them fully autonomous and we can overcome their high capital costs that can be shared by many in a taxi application. This is the solution and we will see it commercially happen very shortly after 2020. It will be rolled out globally afterwards really fast. This will not take decades. If the first autonomous taxi BEV service is started somewhere in 2020 I bet you will see it everywhere on the planet by 2030. The car industry as we know it will be gone.



Diesel engines are going to used for quite a while. It is hard to foresee that they will be replaced in the next 20 years for applications including agriculture, construction equipment and marine shipping. Maybe over the road trucking could be electrified using a pantograph/trolley system but that is a ways off. In some cities, the exhaust of modern diesels is cleaner than the intake but that does not take into account CO2.

Yes, you could use hydrogen fuel cells for some of these applications but most of the hydrogen comes from reforming hydrocarbon fuels so that is not CO2 free. Unless you live in Iceland or maybe Northern Quebec where there is a surplus of hydro power, I do not see hydrogen being made without a CO2 byproduct.

Maybe lithium-air batteries could fill some of these applications but that is probably not going to happen any time soon. You could also get "clean" hydrogen from nuclear power especially if fusion becomes a reality but that is not likely any time soon. So the short story is that we are stuck with diesel for a number of applications in the near term and cleaner and more efficient is better.


Promoters of diesel engines would do well to drop the oxymoronic term 'clean diesel' in light of how VW's diesel gate has re-defined the words as an antonym.

Dr. Strange Love

I propose Cleaner-Diesel, Cleaner-Gas, Cleaner-JPx, Cleaner-Propane, Cleaner-NG. How about Cleaner-Electricity too?

It's ironic.

I am still waiting for a Vent-less heat-pump or otherwise 7+ cubic ft. cloths dryer that can compete. Why is it taking so long?

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No, that will also be misleading marketing. But "Less dirty diesel" will do. That is accurate and not misleading say for diesel engine with urea after treatment.

I think we will be stuck with diesel at least ten years ahead. However, in about ten years Tesla, LG and others will offer good batteries for 100 or 150 USD per kwh and then we will see battery electric machines for all kind of applications that today runs on diesel. Currently these batteries cost 500 USD per kwh in bulk and that is a show stopper for nearly everything. Moreover, battery packs are not available either as bulk commodities. I think both battery cells and battery packs for any application will be far easier to order than it is today where Tesla and LG do not sell to others as their order book is full. And those small firms that could make battery packs for speciality things like agricultural machines does not exist either today.


Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and the EV people have to count the CO2 created in their electricity generation.
EV people generally say, you could have your own PV chargers; but most people just charge for the grid so you should use the CO2 level for the grid. Take Ireland (where we have a lot of wind), the CO2 is about 469gms/KwH. So if you are getting 3.1 miles / KwH, it is 151 gms/mile or about 94 gms/km.
This is about as good as a Prius or Auris.
Good, but nothing out of the ordinary, unless you live in France where they are 79% nuclear.



It is one thing to build Battery Electric cars as a 150-300 hp car only uses about 20-30 hp cruising on the highway but a 450 hp over the road truck uses 300+ hp on flat roads and the full 450 hp on hills and may be expected to run 20 hrs a day. A 200 hp or more tractor may use the full hp available plowing the lower 4000 and also needs to run long days. Between the energy density and the efficiency, the electric machine needs to come close to the diesel and that is a not an easy match. Maybe fuel cells but where do you get the hydrogen or maybe lithium-air but both of these are not yet available and I doubt that they will be economic solutions in less than 20 years.

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mahonj take a look at this graph for US electricity production. Coal used to be 50% of US electricity and now it is barely beating natural gas. In 2035 coal will be gone in the US and EU replaced by natural gas, solar and wind. So don't compare what we have today. It is changing fast and it will change even faster going ahead as solar and wind keeps getting cheaper every year. Everything else is going up in price. BEVs are already much cleaner than the average gasser with regard to CO2 and they have zero air pollution as well. True a natural gas power plant have air pollution but it is lees (than from a comparable amount of gassers replaced by BEVs) and it does not happen at the road and cities where people are breathing the air. It happens in high chimneys hundreds of feet high away from large cities.



"Less dirty diesel"
That does seem more accurate.

The Lurking Jerk

I don’t know why you guys are so down on diesel. VW cheated, but others did not. There are a variety of ways to make diesel run cleanly- Mazda’s way is interesting, using lower compression without SCR.

VW is only one company.



I can see the graph and the US has substituted gas for coal with considerable CO2/KwH reduction. (Do you have a graph for that (US Co2/Kwh by year) - I can't find one).
But we cannot just cherry pick EVs tomorrow vs hybrids today, it has to be now vs now in this case, the two are about the same. Who knows how much better hybrids will be in 20 years.

My view is that in sunny places, people will be able to replace a lot of their fossil power by solar+batteries, but not all (for winter and dull weeks), so they will have to keep a load of old fossil plant idle for 80% of the time to cover the dull / winter times.
The same will apply to windy places, it will be possible to generate power on windy days and bridge maybe 12 hours after this but once that happens, you need to crank up the thermal plant (assuming you have maxed out your interconnectors).

The problem will be how to pay for this. It is likely to be very expensive. (Germany and Denmark have the most expensive energy in Europe).
People understand that you pay for energy used, they do not like to pay for the capacity to generate energy.
On the other hand, people pay for police forces and armies which are only used intermittently.
They will just have to get used to it.

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Denmark has some of the lowest electricity costs in the world. I know because I pay these costs. My bill says 0.062 USD per kwh plus 0.24 USD per kwh in electricity taxes. Germany have higher electricity costs but not as high taxes.

Also it is irrelevant to compare the 50 mpg Prius with say the Leaf running on electricity from a coal power plant. Here the Prius wins in terms of CO2. However, use gasoline made from Canadian oil sands and the Prius loose. Compare the average 22 mpg US car with the Leaf using electricity from the current US grid and also include the CO2 emissions from making the US gasoline. This is the relevant comparison and here BEVs are far better than gassers. My point is that this advantage of current BEVs will only increase as coal power disappears from the grid.

In 2035 there will practically not be a single new gasser car for sale. It will all be autonomous BEVs of some sort. There will still be one billion gassers on the roads globally as they last 20 years and they are still selling in some volume in 2030. Trust me that the autonomous BEV will brink revolutionary change in the auto industry. It begins as a commercial taxi service in 2020 or shortly after. After that it will be explosive growth because the money is so good.

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Sorry made an error here. Electricity cost 6.2 cents + distribution cost 6 cents + taxes of another 18 cents.


But you have to bundle in the "special energy" taxes and distribution costs to get the electricity costs.


This graph from Eurostat suggests that it is the most expensive in Europe for consusmers, albeit very close to Germany.

If you look at industrial prices, Denmark is a lot cheaper, but they seem to have dumped all the taxes onto the unfortunate consumers.


+ you can't really separate the cost of generating electricity from the cost of distributing it. You have to count the distribution cost in - it is a bit like milk, the farm gate price is of little concern to the consumer, they need milk in the shop, not the cow.

Account Deleted

mahonj thank you for that graph. It confirms exactly what I say: 12 cents for electricity and 18 cents for tax in Denmark. It also confirms that Danish electricity costs are less than the European average without taxes. I agree with you that electricity cost are most relevant when they include distribution cost. So 12.2 cents is my cost in Denmark. We may have higher distribution cost because of all the cheap wind power over 40% of Denmarks electricity. That wind power means grid adjustments that are expensive like building more power lines to deal with intermittency.


California costs 10 cents per kWh and 5 cents to deliver it. There are other fees and so on, but I still would rather have an EV running on power stored from our grid than a diesel.

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