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TDI (Diesel) Emissions This is a discussion about emissions from TDI's. Pro's cons of Diesels (including biodiesel) effects on the environment and how they compare to Gasoline and other fuel sources for Internal combustion engines.

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Old July 8th, 2019, 13:02   #46
IndigoBlueWagon
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I lived in LA for a couple years in the late 70s, and because I met my wife there I've been traveling back and to visit in-laws, for business, and now to see my daughter, for the past 40 years. Most of my family is in the Pasadena area, and the number of 100 degree days in the summer is far greater than 20 years ago. We were there in April and it was gloomy, which I thought was early in the season. And there were a couple years where the September gloom just didn't happen. So my perception is that weather patterns have changed.

And despite how much cleaner cars are now than decades ago, traffic is much worse, too. Right now my daughter lives in downtown LA and is working in West LA, just west of the 405. it's a 12 mile drive, takes her about an hour. Uncharacteristically she was taking the subway until they closed the station near her apartment for renovations. So the cars may be cleaner, but some of that benefit is blunted by all the traffic.
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Old July 11th, 2019, 06:50   #47
tikal
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Thanks for the important points below!

What is the percentage of light duty diesel engines in the greater Los Angeles area and how does it compare to percentage of gasoline and gasoline hybrid vehicles (non-commercial in both cases)?

Regulation is necessary to bring a balance between efficiency (CO2 emission leading to warming of the planet) and local air pollution (NOX, VOC, CO, etc. leading to respiratory health hazards and others).


Right now gasoline and gasoline hybrid engines are still spewing disproportionate amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PM (particle matter of a different size than the ones from light duty diesel engines) making the air in places like Los Angeles, Houston, etc. very bad for your lungs. Put all the above factors together and do the numbers (look at the GREET model) and a light duty diesel SUV (the size Americans want to buy) is going to be better overall for a place like Los Angeles vs a similar size gasoline or gasoline hybrid.

Europe is a different matter all together. You have several generation of light duty diesel vehicles going possibly back to the 1980s in very congested urban areas. Of course they need to do something about it, specially the light duty diesel vehicles without DPF and urea injection!

Right now, in my view, if you can afford two cars, the best solution is to have one for the highway (diesel) and one for the city (electrical, relatively small such as the Kia Soul or Nissan Leaf).

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Originally Posted by Matt-98AHU View Post
It has been, though it could be argued it's more of a climate change issue than a raw pollution issue.

The air pollution changes quite a lot with weather patterns. The pollution is the worst when the air becomes stagnant, hot and sunny. Wind doesn't blow pollutants away and the heat and sun make conditions prime for further chemical reactions to happen in the immediate air that makes smog worse.

The clearest days are right after it's rained. Rain and wind make a very large, noticeable improvement in an immediate sense. The weather patterns the last few years, especially in Southern California, have had even more hot, sunny and stagnant days than the average and less rain than usual. Some of it is cyclical, rain amounts can vary quite a bit year over year here, but there definitely has been an alarming trend, especially for SoCal, of much warmer winters and far less rain. Coastal areas have also had much less of the marine layer/fog than they used to in May and June as well, which is a significant departure from the normal climate out here as well. Part of it has to do with sea surface temperatures being higher than average for a significant amount of time right off the coast here.

Anyway, long story short, hotter, sunnier weather with less rain than usual = much higher air pollution accumulation, especially in the L.A. basin. But, given that vehicles are amazingly clean nowadays and we've already seen massive improvements in pollution due to the regulations, the problem now is the fact that the climate is no longer what it once was and the change in weather patterns is actually making it so there are more bad pollution days than California had 15-20 years ago.

By that observation, one could argue that curbing CO2 output is definitely of greater importance to pollution (even though it does not direct contribute to air quality issues) than further limiting of NOx, VOCs, HCs etc.

In other words, we need more efficiency, not cleaner exhausts... says the guy who just drove a 20 MPG V10 Touareg to Oregon and back... oops. Seriously, we could use a freeze on pollution regulations... they're clean enough. But if we could find other ways to encourage efficiency, that wouldn't be a bad thing.
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Old July 12th, 2019, 10:14   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikal View Post
Thanks for the important points below!

What is the percentage of light duty diesel engines in the greater Los Angeles area and how does it compare to percentage of gasoline and gasoline hybrid vehicles (non-commercial in both cases)?

Regulation is necessary to bring a balance between efficiency (CO2 emission leading to warming of the planet) and local air pollution (NOX, VOC, CO, etc. leading to respiratory health hazards and others).


Right now gasoline and gasoline hybrid engines are still spewing disproportionate amounts of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PM (particle matter of a different size than the ones from light duty diesel engines) making the air in places like Los Angeles, Houston, etc. very bad for your lungs. Put all the above factors together and do the numbers (look at the GREET model) and a light duty diesel SUV (the size Americans want to buy) is going to be better overall for a place like Los Angeles vs a similar size gasoline or gasoline hybrid.

Europe is a different matter all together. You have several generation of light duty diesel vehicles going possibly back to the 1980s in very congested urban areas. Of course they need to do something about it, specially the light duty diesel vehicles without DPF and urea injection!

Right now, in my view, if you can afford two cars, the best solution is to have one for the highway (diesel) and one for the city (electrical, relatively small such as the Kia Soul or Nissan Leaf).

I absolutely agree there. And in general, over the long term you will have more issues with a modern diesel being regularly stuck in traffic as opposed to being under a constant, higher load on the open highway with little traffic. Variable geometry turbo vanes begin to stick at lower miles or the vane mechanism wears to the point of having overboost from that constant stop and go work out. DPFs clog faster, you get more frequent regens or worse, more likely to crack a DPF on the Gen 1 engines that also have to do more frequent micro regens for the NOx trap.

Battery electric and hybrids make a ton of sense if you're commonly stuck in that driving cycle. They're far more efficient and they were effectively designed for that type of driving. They will also be cleaner in that environment with the minimal running of an internal combustion engine at all.

In urban environments, they make the most sense. But there's also people who have long commutes before they even get into that traffic mess. And diesels are the better tool for long highway drives if the traffic isn't all stop and go, especially when you scale up the size of the vehicle to SUVs and pick ups.

I suppose that's what's frustrating to dieselheads like us is seeing regulations largely being made with the urban environments in mind and not taking into account that many people have a very different way of living and thus their vehicular needs are very different as well. As I always like to say, different tools for different jobs. And for people who live in the sticks and often times need to drive long distance, diesels tend to be the much more convenient option for efficiency, range and overall drivability in rural environments and highways, especially where there's not yet charging infrastructure (or electric vehicles that do what some people who live out that way really need them to do off road).
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Old July 12th, 2019, 10:48   #49
IndigoBlueWagon
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I agree with the idea of different tools for different jobs, except there are fixed expenses with multiple vehicles (registration, taxes, insurance) that can eliminate any cost savings on fuel, especially if the vehicles are newer. I have multiple vehicles but they're mostly old, so they don't cost much in insurance or taxes.

My approach to this is I use my old diesels for daily driving in traffic and short trips, and the modern, emissions controlled diesels for long drives. Not very green, perhaps, but it will extend component life in the newer cars.

That said, I could live with a good electric for daily driving and an emissions controlled diesel for road trips. Just would have to find the right electric. Not out there yet.
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