A Chinese research team has developed an affordable solution to
diesel engine emissions, opening the door for expanded use of the
relatively inexpensive fuel.
The new engine features a catalytic converter designed to
collect soot and remove oxidized nitrogen, the two main components
of diesel exhaust.
The team, comprising researchers from the Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Beijing Normal
University, said the new engine is likely to meet European III
Team coordinator Zhuang Yahui said a package of proposals has
been submitted advising Beijing to use the new engine, which could
substantially reduce air pollution in the capital.
“Tests have shown the solution is cheap and policy makers should
consider it,” said Zhuang, a professor with the Research Center for
Eco-Environmental Sciences with the (CAS).
At present, many of the city’s vehicles run on gasoline and
natural gas, but some trucks still consume diesel fuel. Exhaust
from diesel engines is a major contributor to airborne particles,
the main pollutants in Beijing.
Cheng Ying, of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection
Bureau, said the new engine could be economically and
environmentally useful in achieving the Chinese capital’s lofty
goal of cleaning up air pollution during the coming years.
Despite the government’s best efforts, including switching from
coal to natural gas as a preferred fuel, phasing out leaded
gasoline and greening unpaved land, Beijing continues to have only
fair air quality most of the time.
Zhuang’s group has been involved in a seven-year research
program funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation
Eight developing Asian countries, including China, India and
Vietnam, have participated in the program, which seeks technical
solutions for dealing with waste water, solid waste, air pollution
and hazardous waste.
Beijing has been one of the six Asian cities conducting research
on improving air quality since the program started in 2001.
The CAS and its Japanese partners recently signed an agreement
to expand ecological defenses for Beijing and adjacent areas.
According to the second phase of the agreement on the project,
Toyota Motor Company will donate 150 million Japanese yen (US$1.4
million) to plant trees in Fengning County, Hebei Province.
(China Daily April 9, 2004)