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Oregon DEQ works with fleet owners and operators to offer ways they can take advantage of the benefits of diesel engines, while reducing their emissions impact. Strategies for reducing diesel exhaust fall under three primary approaches: burning less fuel, burning cleaner fuel and burning fuel cleaner.
The easiest ways to reduce diesel exhaust and save money are to burn less fuel. Simple steps can result in significant savings in fuel costs and reduced pollution.
There are other fuels, including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol, propane and electricity, that provide environmental benefits on their own. However, exhaust from a diesel engine is most effectively reduced at the lowest cost when clean fuels are combined with exhaust controls.
These alternative fuels have operational advantages in specific circumstances and can be an excellent solution for a fleet to lower their emissions, and in some cases, offer operational savings. For fleets that remain committed to diesel, cleaner fuels like ultra-low sulfur diesel, renewable diesel and biodiesel can be combined with advanced exhaust controls to make the most environmentally cost effective solution.
This approach refers to installing advanced exhaust controls (retrofitting vehicles and equipment), or replacing (repowering) engines.
Of the three approaches, retrofitting is the most cost-effective strategy on a cost per ton of pollutant-reduced basis. Typically, diesel retrofits involve adding a device to remove emissions from the engine exhaust. Retrofits can be very effective, eliminating up to 90% of pollutants, depending on the device. Some examples of devices are diesel oxidation catalysts, diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase ventilation systems.
DEQ offers technical assistance on these approaches and can refer fleet managers to vendors and other resources for more information. Grant money may be available to help with costs.
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