What Is Clean Diesel?

If a diesel vehicle leaves a big black cloud of smog and soot as it drives away, there is something wrong with the car, not the fuel, says the Diesel Technology Forum.

Diesel is now cleaner than ever and that is where the new term “clean diesel” comes from. It is still a petroleum-based fuel with high-energy content used in cars and machinery. The difference between clean and conventional diesel is sulfur, which is reduced from 500 parts per million to only 15. This improvement dramatically decreases the emission of polluting oxides of nitrogen into environment, as requested by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

Paired with advanced engines, an efficient exhaust control system and advancements in the fuel injection system, clean diesel has managed to reduce emissions by 90%, according to the Western States Petroleum Association. However, more improvements are still on the way. In the next few years, the USEPA expects the diesel industry to reduce key emissions by 95% to 98% in vehicles, off-road machines, trucks and buses.

New clean diesel technology also offers superior fuel-efficiency and affordable prices, which are giving electric-gas hybrid cars a run for their money. According to Business Week, electric-gas hybrid cars have one major weakness when compared to diesels: an expensive power train. For a lot less money, environmentally aware drivers can have a clean diesel vehicle instead.

To meet environmental regulations, many manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Audi have switched to improved versions that run using clean diesel technology.

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