While we were sleeping, scientists were working diligently on newer, safer, diesel fuels.
And, although trucks are the vehicles that mostly make use of the technology, many car
manufacturers are considering it now.
Here are just some of the benefits of the new diesel.
What Is It?
Diesel fuel is a type of fuel that’s burned in internal combustion engines. Like traditional gasoline engines, diesel converts compressed fuel into energy, which is used to pump engine pistons, which are attached to a crankshaft, which converts linear motion into rotational force – causing a vehicle to move forward or backward.
In a gasoline engine, mixes gasoline and air, compresses it, and then ignites the mixture with a spark plug. A diesel engine takes in air, compresses it, and then injects fuel into the cylinder. When the fuel comes into contact with the hot air, it ignites.
This works because diesel engine produce much higher compression ratios than gasoline engines and diesel fuel is more stable than gasoline. The primary benefits of diesel are that it contains more energy per unit volume than gasoline and that it can operate under higher compression ratios, producing more energy.
This means it takes less fuel to move a vehicle down the road, resulting in higher fuel efficiency while simultaneously offering more power. Today’s diesel engines combine cleaner diesel fuel, advanced engines, and more effective emissions control technology.
It Provides More Power
Trucks tend to run on diesel because it provides more torque, especially at low speeds. This translates into more towing power and more power “off-the-line.” For example, Audi’s newest A7 produces 428 lb-ft of torque. Its gasoline cousin only produces 325 lb-ft of torque – both engines have the same 3-liter fuel capacity.
And, while this car accident lawyer admits that more power can lead to more car accidents, especially if there are road hazards in the way, most consumers like the fact that these vehicles have more power on tap. And, for trucking companies, it’s a virtual necessity.
Clean Diesel Is…Clean
Clean diesel is a cleaner form of fuel than even traditional gasoline engines. The fuel contains 97 percent less sulfur than old diesel fuels, cutting soot emissions by at least 10 percent. The technology is liken to the removal of lead from gasoline in the 1970s.
Diesel is also a fuel that burns more completely than traditional gasolines. And, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, few other fuels can compete with diesel in terms of energy density.
The EPA is More Accurate About Fuel Efficiency
The EPA doesn’t overestimate the fuel efficiency of diesel engines like it does for other types of engines. For example, the EPA had to drop its estimated fuel economy for the Ford C-Max Hybrid because the EPA’s testing didn’t meet Ford’s claims.
The Infrastructure Is Already There
This is a huge hurdle that has to be overcome with electric vehicles, aside from the fact that it’s difficult to impossible to run a truck on electric power right now, given the loads that most commercial trucks have to haul.
Currently, diesel fuel is available at more than 50 percent of American gas stations. And, as diesel becomes more popular, it’s likely to be available at more stations. All that’s required is an additional tank for the fuel. Delivery systems are near-identical to gasoline pumps.
About the author:
Raymond Collins works in product development in the automotive industry. He likes to share his insights online and has previously written for environmental blogs.
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