Diesel engines for consumer vehicles in the United States in
recent years have been relegated mainly to heavy-duty pickups along with the
Jeep Liberty, Mercedes E-Class and a few VW models. The diesel engine just
hasn't taken off here due to the relatively cheap unleaded fuel prices that Americans
enjoyed. In Europe, however, diesel engines are found in 50% of new cars.
Honda has unveiled a new diesel drivetrain that it hopes to
employ in its US passenger cars by 2009. It also says that the new engine
passes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier II Bin 5 emissions
requirements. The key to Honda's diesel cleanliness is due to an innovative new
catalytic converter that uses ammonia to convert nitrogen oxide into nitrogen.
According to Honda's press
The new catalytic
converter utilizes a two-layer structure: one layer adsorbs NOx from the
exhaust gas and converts a portion of it into ammonia, while the other layer
adsorbs the resulting ammonia, and uses it later in a reaction that converts
the remaining NOx in the exhaust into nitrogen (N2). Ammonia is a highly
effective reagent for reducing NOx into N2 in an oxygen-rich, lean-burn
atmosphere. This ability to generate and store ammonia within the catalytic
converter has enabled Honda to create a compact, lightweight NOx reduction
system for diesel engines. The system also features enhanced NOx reduction
performance at 200–300ºC, the main temperature range of diesel engines.
Honda also touted its next generation FCX concept fuel cell
vehicle. The new fuel cell stack used in the FCX is 30% lighter and 20% smaller
than the previous generation. Despite the reductions in size and weight, power
is up by 14kW. The drive motor also saw its power output increase by 15kW and
the overall drivetrain is nearly 400 pounds lighter than before.
With its hydrogen fuel cell and onboard lithium ion
batteries, the FCX boasts an overall efficiency rating of 60% -- three times that
of a conventional internal combustion engine, two times greater than a hybrid
vehicle and 10% better than the previous generation FCX. When all is said and
done, the new FCX boasts a range of 354 miles.
Honda has long been seen as a “green” company in the United
States and its new engine technologies show that the company is poised to
maintain that clean image.
quote: Deep down I wish America would kick it into high gear on the design side of the automotive industry and work ...
quote: same ones selling cars here in the US
quote: but how far we choose to drive them
quote: R&D being "local"
quote: European nation with $6+ gasoline has a "competitive advantage" over the USA
quote: US Gulf of Mexico oil operations are only feasible when prices are high
quote: How many people "require"...
quote: not what you drive, but how much you drive
quote: production at $30/barrel or over
quote: A rail or subway transportation system requires vast amounts of resources and energy to build, maintain, and operate
quote: And the roads and the cars that go on them don't[?]
--Not nearly as much, no
quote: Cars don't go on strike. Subway and bus drivers do. Yet another strike against public transp
quote: Freedom allowed what you call "sprawl"
quote: rent a truck every week is not an economic method
quote: which, had you ever lived next to a large manufacturing plant
quote: is just under $1M/mile
quote: Simple solution-- avoid public transport entirely. Then we don't have the roads clogged during their ever-so-frequent strikes
quote: live in America, where we value it
quote: a better study, entitled "Did Portlands "Smart Growth" ...