For the many years that diesel engines have powered the global economy, the emissions in diesel exhaust have been the target of regulators aiming to reduce air pollution. As a result, in just the past decade, compliance with emissions regulations has resulted in a significant improvement in air quality.
In a recent report, the EPA noted that overall air quality in the U.S. has greatly improved even while the gross national product has more than tripled. The impact of innovative emissions control systems is clearly seen in reduced air pollution across the country.
Effective Emissions Controls
Although federal and California clean air regulations do not specify what type of diesel exhaust systems are required, the setting of increasingly strict emissions limits for diesel-powered trucks has triggered the development and application of effective engine management, fuel treatment and exhaust control devices, including heavy duty diesel systems, that are provided as original equipment and aftermarket refits.
With the use of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology and NOx traps to treat exhaust after combustion rather than redesigning the diesel engine itself, manufacturers removed much of the maintenance burden on the operator while reducing exhaust emissions to regulatory limits.
Critical engine control systems on a modern heavy duty diesel engine are typically designed around precise fuel injection, exhaust gas treatment and the sensors and control devices needed to maintain consistent, reliable performance. Referred to as electronic diesel control (EDC), this system includes a control module, electronic sensors to monitor conditions and changes, and actuators or solenoids to respond to control unit signals.
Designed to manage increased demands for efficiency, stricter emissions controls, more power and less noise, modern engine control systems succeed in meeting those demands. However, many components of engine control systems, including those that manage fuel systems, require periodic inspection and maintenance.
Fuel Issue Remedies
Although not visible under normal circumstances, it is safe to assume that air is entrained within diesel fuel and can enter the engine even though there is no leak in the fuel line between the tank and the injectors.
Air becomes entrained in fuel when it sloshes in the tank during normal vehicle motion. A second issue involves fuel that becomes partially vaporized as it is pulled from the tank. Both issues affect performance and can be remedied with a filtration system.
As a result, the addition of fuel air separator systems to treat the fuel before it is injected into the combustion cylinder can improve efficiency and performance.
When diesel engine control systems are routinely inspected and maintained, operating costs can be reduced, reliable performance is sustained and emissions are held under regulatory limits.