Alternative Fuels Australia

Australia needs to improve its diesel fleet: expert

Posted by Car Geek on August 12, 2007

An old diesel pump, from Licenced under CC 2.0. With sales of passenger diesel vehicles increasing rapidly, some are raising concerns about the potential health hazards that diesel emissions can pose. Although Europe and the United States both have quite strict diesel particulate regulations, Australia has not yet caught up in both technology and regulations.

Associate Professor Vishy Karri, from the School of Engineering at University of Tasmania, says that Australia is in danger of falling behind global trends in reducing diesel emissions. “I would love to see Australia put strict regulations in place. In my opinion we are lagging behind and should be acting on these things sooner rather than later,” he said in an interview with the Mercury.

Although sulphur content in diesel fuel (the primary cause of particulate and smog emissions) has been greatly reduced from 500 parts per million to only 50 ppm in the past year, with a further reduction to the upcoming European standard of 10 ppm planned for 2009, the primary source of potentially dangerous emissions is not cleaner new passenger vehicles, but an ageing road transport fleet that is responsible for over 70% of diesel fuel consumption in Australia. A recent report by the National Environment Protection Council has stated that the individual states need to assist in improving the emissions of the diesel truck fleet through the use of particulate filters and oxidisation catalysts.

Alternatively, Dr Karri has supported the use of biodiesel to reduce emissions in any diesel vehicle. Biodiesel decreases almost all types of emissions, with the exception of NOx, and is produced from renewable sources in Australia such as canola. According to Dr Karri, “there are some staggering figures that show hydrocarbons and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced, even with 2 per cent biodiesel mixture into diesel.” Despite a lack of warranty support from manufacturers, most diesel vehicles need no modification to run even pure biodiesel.

(Source: Mercury)


3 Responses to “Australia needs to improve its diesel fleet: expert”

  1. […] Original post by Nathan […]

  2. […] Karri, from the School of Engineering at University of Tasmania, supports the use of Biodiesel.… 2. Australian Diesel. More on the above. […]

  3. Ibb said

    – some people are even making biodiesel at home! Apparently, it can be easily done.

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