International Truck & Engine Corp. believes its adsorber technology designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) will be the technology of choice to meet new EPA diesel engine emission rules in 2007 and beyond.
"From our work in the laboratory, we feel this is the technology that will carry us through 2007," said Patrick Charbonneau, CTO for International's engine group, in a conference call with reporters.
He added that NOx adsorbers would also help the company's engines meet the final full phase-in of those rules in 2010.
NOx adsorbers are basically chemical sponges that absorb NOx and break it down into nitrogen and oxygen by using precious metals such as platinum in conjunction with hydrocarbons produced by the diesel engine.
These adsorbers would be used along with ultra low sulfur fuel (ULSD), particular filters and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) engine technology to get emissions down to the levels required in 2007 and beyond.
The ultimate cost of NOx adsorbers, however, remains up in the air depending on the types of metal used. EPA currently estimates that NOx adsorbers alone could cost $1,800 per unit by 2007, although Charbonneau stressed that ongoing research and development work could result in less costly devices by the time 2007-compliant engines roll off the production line.