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Revamped Diesel Engine Runs Cheaper, Cleaner

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 emission standards.


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 Agency.


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)

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