EXCLUSIVE: California Air Resources Board (CARB) to introduce tougher truck emissions standards

Niels Tholen - 26 November 2013

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced it is detailing plans to adopt new optional ultra-low NOx emissions limits for diesel truck engines in December 2013. The details of the plan were discussed at the Diesel Emissions Conference in Atlanta last month, organized by Integer Research. The board is also considering a future mandatory low-NOx engine standard, pending the outcome of a research project looking into the matter.

The new optional rule to develop ultra-low NOx engine emissions standards could be used to prioritize funding provided to truckers under several state incentive programs such as the Carl Moyer program.

According to Kim Heroy-Rogalski, Mobile Source Control Division at CARB, many options are already in place to reduce NOx gasses further by optimizing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology. These options include better SCR thermal regulation and NOx absorbers among other options, all of which can be implemented to reduce NOx created at periods of low loading or engine cold-start.

CARB reported that the new emissions standard would help California comply with the EPA federal ozone standard which will be set at 60 ppb. Although optional at first, it is possible that the standard will be implemented nationwide. The proposed standards will be 0.01, 0.02 and 0.05 grams per brake horsepower-hour. These standards are 90%, 75% and 50% lower respectively than the current standard of 0.2 grams per brake horsepower-hour.

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