• Aug 29, 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a variety of rules that it might apply to urea injection for diesel engines, and is said to ready to issue rules for such emission-control devices in upcoming weeks. The regulations are expected to address potential issues arising with urea injection, such as the availability of the substance, making sure that the system and its low-fluid-level warning system are tamperproof, and dealing with urea's freezing point of 11F. One of the largest areas of contention between the EPA and automakers involves a proposed interlock between the urea level-monitoring system and the engine that would perhaps disable the starter or lock the vehicle's fuel cap if urea levels drop too low to ensure proper function.

Starting in 2010, all diesel vehicles sold in the US must meet or exceed "Bin 5" classification of the Tier II clean air standards, which would effectively make oilburners as clean as gasoline engines. Urea injection helps reduce the level of oxides of nitrogen when injected into the tailpipe, and does so at a cost perhaps 10% lower than the competing NOx trap technology. Bosch sees the combination of urea and selective catalyst reduction as the path toward diesel cleanliness, and GM has shown off the technology on a diesel light-truck prototype. VW's emission certification problems with the diesel Touareg last year elevated the profile of urea injection - and the problems surrounding it - here in the United States, and prompted the EPA to start moving.

[Source: Autoweek/Automotive News]



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  • 20 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      SpinDaddy, you hit the nail right on the head! Not only are the EPA anti-diesel, but also blindly pro-hybrid. That's why the EPA's mileage rating for hybrids are waaaay off! We don't hear diesel drivers complaining that they can't attain the EPA's mileage ratings, like we do from so may hybrid drivers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Urea is pretty cheap as Bioreagents go. Fisher lists a 500g (Cat. No. BP169-500) bottle for $37. I don't think this type of NoX filtering system will break the bank of diesel drivers and shouldn't be harder to do than topping off your oil a few times a year.
      dan
      • 8 Years Ago
      actually.. a more pertinent issue is, how far can you go between urea fills? Is it possible to dehydrate one's own urine and thus save a pee-load on paying for urea?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well the last time in europe (2001 or so) i saw hardly any black smoke from any diesel powered vehicle (trucks included) but i see and smell it every day here. The us diesel rules are the reason that the few diesel vehicles make so much smoke. But instaed of just catching up, after sleeping for years (low sulfur anybody) the epa is going too far ahead and this way they blocking diesel vehicles today. But we need them today, they are perfect for most drivers here in the us. There is nothing wrong with stricter rules, but epa should give the car makers some time AND a selling possibilty NOW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Now we have the real culprit in explaining why diesel powered cars and light trucks are not more readily available in teh US market...the EPA. They seem to keep snatching away the football like Lucy does to Charlie Brown every time he tries to kick it.

      There seems to be a definite anti-diesel bias at the EPA, as they keep changing the rules or upping emission targets to unrealistic or prohibitively expensive levels. Meanwhile the American consumer continues to be denied the option of widely available more efficient diesel power.

      I say let diesels into the market to compete with hybrids head on.

      Way to go EPA, thanks for nothing -SpinDaddy
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yeah, screw the EPA. They've just given us clean water and breathable air. Wait tho, if we just left it to coporations, they would save the planet all by themselves, cuz that's what they do. And that's, of course, what they were doing before there was an EPA. Thats why in the '60's, air in "Kaliforniastan" was like somking 2 packs a day, why contaminated water was giving cancer to children, why you couldnt swim at beaches. Yep, because big business loves to give back to the rest of us, and make the world a better place.

      Maybe y'all need to take a trip to some European cities in the summer and see what diesel smoke does to air, then come back to your blue Kansan and Nebraskan skies and ask yourself if you like that color in the sky.

      Clean diesels, SURE!! Bring 'em on. But dont fool yourself into thinking manufacturers will do so on their own. That's not the world we live in.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Urea is in pee.
      • 8 Years Ago
      guido
      I live in the UK so trust me the SOOT is there. It is especially visible during hard acceleration (It kinda Dumps it out like the way a Catalytic Converter does)

      snakesausage
      SHUT THE HELL UP !!!
      You rant like a moron and nobody wants to hear your RUBBISH
      • 8 Years Ago
      There's certainly no shortage of urea on this planet!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Marc has a point
      Diesel Engines have a benefit for we European drivers because it is cheaper to run as it returns almost 50% more miles compared to its similarly powered Petrol Engines. So from an economic standpoint Diesels Are Better !!!

      However Diesels are very polluting compared to Petrol as can be seen from the Black Soot that pours from the exhaust systems ( Especially older vehicles) so the EPA has good reason to insist on Cleaner Diesel Technology.

      Lets be clear on this, I am not Supporting all the actions of the EPA as they have made some Very Dubious decisions in the past.
      dan
      • 8 Years Ago
      ^lol... maybe it will include a urea-heater...
      • 8 Years Ago
      so when your car shuts off because there's no more urea in the tank and you're miles from the nearest urea supply, I guess you just piss in the tank and get back on the road.
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