[Vwdiesel] Diesel particulate filters make the grade in Alberta

Tony Boucher cdn_borne at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 8 21:20:45 EDT 2005

This article is from a Trucking e-letter I get. For those that might be 


Diesel particulate filters make the grade in Alberta

EDMONTON, (Aug. 8, 2005) -- As part of its ongoing interest in exploring 
ways to reduce vehicle emissions in urban areas, the Clean Air Strategic 
Alliance has just completed a comprehensive pilot project on the 
effectiveness of diesel particulate filters in chilly Edmonton.
CASA -- a non-profit association composed of government, industry, and 
environmental groups -- conducted a one-year test of the filter on two 
diesel buses in Edmonton Transit System's fleet between January 2003 and 
January 2004.

The objectives of the Diesel Particulate Filter Project were to: Demonstrate 
effectiveness of diesel engine emission reduction technology in an Alberta; 
Provide an opportunity for Alberta's transportation and transit industries 
to acquire hands-on experience with the installation, use and performance 
characteristics of CRT technology; Stimulate the transportation industry's 
interest in and adoption of air pollution reduction devices; and improve 
urban air quality.

The project's main conclusion was that the DPF -- specifically the Johnson 
Matthey Continuously Regenerating Technology -- worked in Alberta's climate. 
Although DPF technology is being used in a number of jurisdictions 
throughout North America and the world, there is little practical experience 
with cold weather applications of this technology, says CASA.

The results showed specifically that there were major reductions in 
emissions of three main pollutants, but no significant change in the 
emission rate of nitrogen oxides: Total hydrocarbons reductions of 51-87 
percent; Carbon monoxide reductions of 67-89 percent; and total particulate 
matter reductions of 60-75 percent.

Before beginning actual emissions testing of the project, the equipment was 
subjected to dry runs to ensure it was operating as it should. A route was 
chosen to simulate the normal operating conditions for a typical city bus, 
including numerous stops and starts, travel at various speeds, and idling 

Operationally, the filters require ultra low sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD), 
which is mandated at 15 ppm for all diesel engines next year -- and are 
applicable in modern engines with high combustion temperatures. By using 
diesel particulate filters, it is possible to advance emissions reductions 
that would otherwise take longer to occur through fleet turnover. The 
filters work mainly by converting CO and HC into carbon dioxide and water 
and then trapping soot on the walls of the filter, where it is destroyed.

"The test was very useful to ETS in evaluating the performance of the DPF 
technology and gaining experience with installing and maintaining the 
device," the report stated. "The filter did not impair bus performance, in 
terms of fuel economy and driving performance, but it does require annual 
cleaning to ensure proper continued operation; the cleaning process will add 
about three hours to the annual maintenance inspection for each bus."

Tony Boucher
Senior Consultant

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