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Old November 29th, 2002, 15:30   #1
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albany, NY USA
Default OT: Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

A small technology piece from autoweek.com on Ford's plans..


Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

By RICHARD TRUETT | Automotive News

Ford Motor Co. is developing a diesel emissions treatment system that uses a solution of ammonia and water to help ensure that it can use fuel-sipping engines in cars and light trucks in the United States by mid-decade.

The pollution-control system is Ford's backup plan in case low-sulfur diesel fuel and equipment such as catalytic converters and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) traps fail to reduce emissions enough to meet tougher federal standards starting in 2004, said Dave Szczupak, Ford vice president of powertrain operations.

Automakers are being pressured by advocacy groups and regulators to increase the fuel economy of vehicles, particularly light trucks. Diesel engines could boost fuel economy by 25 percent or more, compared with gasoline engines, at less expense than technologies such as hybrid powertrains. But California and federal emissions regulations call for drastic reductions in the amount of NOx and particulates in diesel exhaust.

Ford's strategy calls for using urea, an ammonia and water solution, Szczupak said. The urea is periodically injected into the exhaust system ahead of the catalytic converter. It converts NOx and hydrocarbons into nitrogen and water, eliminating nearly all of the NOx.

In a departure from an earlier test program, the urea would be stored in a 5-liter cartridge that would be changed periodically, similar to an oil change.

Last year, Ford demonstrated a turbocharged, diesel-powered Focus with urea injection that delivered 59 mpg on the highway. That fuel-economy rate not only beats the gasoline-powered Focus' 36 mpg, but it also betters the rates of the Toyota Prius, which gets 45 mpg, and Honda Civic, which gets 51 mpg, on the highway. The Prius and Civic are gasoline-electric hybrids.

The test car was designed for its urea tank to be refilled along with the diesel fuel tank, using a specially designed nozzle. That would have required an expensive change to the nation's fuel pumps, something Ford holds little hope for bringing about.

"I have grave doubts about the doability and durability of dual refuel systems in terms of the infrastructure," Szczupak said. "I think you could do it with captive fleets and heavy trucks that return to the same depot every night. But we don't think it is a retail solution."

With urea stored in a canister, the driver would fill up with diesel as usual. Depending on the size of the vehicle, a 5-liter canister of urea could last between 10,000 and 20,000 miles. The dealer could replace the canister, Szczupak said, at the same time the oil is changed.

Szczupak said Ford engineers are working to meet stricter diesel emissions standards but are not there. In 2006, refiners will be required to reduce the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel from 500 parts per million to 15 ppm. Many automakers view the cleaner fuel as key to meeting emission standards, which call for diesel engines to run as cleanly as gasoline engines.

"The fallback, if we can't get the other (emissions) systems to work, is the urea canister, which, we think, would last at least a service interval," Szczupak said. "We'd clearly love to do it without an additive, but it's our fallback. We continue to look at every possible catalyst."

Urea injection systems already are used in Europe in large trucks.
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Old December 6th, 2002, 00:51   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Decatur, GA
TDI(s): 2014 JSW 6MT
Fuel Economy: 45
Default Re: OT: Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

Poor little Richard. Never, ever take a manufacturer's MPG claim and try comparing it to EPA estimates. You might as well compare apples to oranges. Until Ford submits that thing to the EPA so they can rate it, the comparison is bogus.

The fact that Ford only eeked 56mpg out of that Focus leaves me feeling that I made the right choice with my 60mpg+ TDI.
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Old December 7th, 2002, 11:08   #3
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Location: Diesel knows best
TDI(s): A4 Jetta
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Default Re: OT: Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

I read a write up on this car somewhere and remember the number 38 for MPG, it was not a ford propaganda article.

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Old December 16th, 2002, 06:03   #4
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Location: On the Dark Side
Default Re: OT: Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

Why bother with a "Urea Cartridge" Why don't they just put a urinal on the side of the car with a little jar by the exhaust for storage?
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Old December 16th, 2002, 08:57   #5
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Default Re: OT: Ford develops backup plan for diesel emissions

Why bother with a "Urea Cartridge" Why don't they just put a urinal on the side of the car with a little jar by the exhaust for storage?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">You think the exhaust smells bad NOW... [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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