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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This came up on Fiberglass camper forum I'm on, thought it might be of interest here:

I own a Jeep diesel. I pull with a Tundra, but thinking about getting a Ram diesel. Great excitement: I came across the following...although it being 2:40 AM may have something to do with it..at any rate, please excuse me, I feel a need to pass this information along. From: https://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ly-come-clean/
What if diesel engines really could be fundamentally cleaner from the fuel burn onward, without the extra cost and bother of exhaust-aftertreatment systems that need regular refilling? Charles Mueller, a combustion scientist at Sandia National Laboratories, thinks he has found a way: place what amounts to a tiny version of a Bunsen burner—the lab-bench heater familiar to students in high-school science classrooms—in the diesel combustion chamber to promote better burning...Once Mueller made the connection between the science-lab tool and a diesel engine, the rest was relatively straightforward. He saw that by equipping diesel fuel injectors with tiny Bunsen–burner-chimney equivalents—small metal tubes installed a short distance from the injector nozzle hole and aligned with the fuel stream—fuel and air could be more fully premixed to enable that even, soot-free, blue-flame burning. And it could happen at the lower temperatures required for anti-NOx dilution.
DUCTED FUEL INJECTION
Mueller calls his patented technology ducted fuel injection, or DFI. Over the past few years, his team’s DFI research has been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office. Now Mueller and his colleagues hope to use his concept to try to create the first practical low-soot, low-NOx diesel engines, which, he says, would need less or no exhaust aftertreatment.
The auto industry has taken notice. Ford and Caterpillar just re-signed an existing cooperative-research-and-development agreement whereby they provide support for Sandia’s investigations of Mueller’s invention. Meanwhile, at a recent conference in Japan, Toyota combustion scientists presented a research paper that confirmed DFI technology suppresses soot. Other diesel-engine builders are reportedly also experimenting with the simple-seeming innovation.

This may be able to be cheaply retrofitted to existing Diesel engines!
 

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Interesting!

Propane has been injected into diesels for years to increase power, and one of the side effects of adding propane is the fuel burn is more complete and cleaner. Farm equipment sometimes uses propane injection technology, when the propane is on, the smoke stops, and the farmer can have a hard time spotting where is the engine is in a large field. In those applications, propane is introduced prior to the intercooler, where it is cooled and mixes with the incoming air charge. Propane can't be injected into the combustion chamber directly, as it would turn back into a liquid.

The effect of this new tech sounds similar to the benefits of adding propane, but the beauty is the technology is a simple mechanical change (the duct) with no need to carry a 2nd type of fuel. It could potentially be adopted quickly too, as I am sure the manufacturers (and for sure end customers) would love to be relieved of at least some after treatment systems.

A dirt bike riding buddy of mine has his PhD in mechanical engineering, and his passion is engines - he has taught at various universities, worked for CAT in their stationary engine after treatment division, and has a few patents. He has done a lot of study on flame fronts using high speed photography and such. I will forward him a link to this article and share what he says about it and share it here - given his expert background, it would be interesting to hear what he has to say.

Cool stuff! :cool:
 
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The greenies will hate it and try to suppress it. They are opposed to anything that runs on "fossil" fuel.
 

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Sure I like clean air. That said, I''m not the droid you're looking for. Try China and India. I've planted thousands of trees in my lifetime and have arguably done more for air quality than most "environmentalists". It takes more than protesting and passing feel good laws to actually do something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm happy to hear that and good on you for your efforts. I think pretty much everyone should like the idea of a simple, potentially retrofitable, not terribly costly solution that let's us have our diesels but be rid of most of the emissions stuff that is clearly not good for our trucks.
 

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I heard back from my engineer buddy, who said this:

"Seems plausible. I worked at that combustion research facility in 1994.

I called Chris Shaddix, who is the current director, they're looking for work. He told me the government no longer supports air quality investigations or emissions studies at the Federal level. He said it is just a skeleton of staff anymore".


Interesting eh? Even if the government is not, it seems to me the manufacturers would be interested in this type of thing, as all that after treatment equipment is an expensive pain in the ass, and if it could be partially eliminated or at least reduced, that would be a leap forward. I will see what he says. Diesel after treatment systems were his professional bag for awhile.

Came across this article which does support the OP's statement that manufacturers are supporting this research.

https://www.sandia.gov/news/publications/labnews/articles/2019/08-30/ducted_fuel_injection.html

Also, FYI, apparently Sandia Labs is a big deal, a lot of their work focuses on Nuclear research.
 
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This is a great idea. I hope it can be brought to all diesels.

I do think of this though.........
With all the trees being cut down around the world.
And all the power plants around the world that are using massive amounts of oxygen.
Then consider the millions of cars and trucks and don’t forget all the homes and other buildings that heat with oil or gas.
How fast are the oxygen levels dropping?

Then think of all the people out there that think electric cars are the answer.
Now consider how many of these electric cars will be or are charging with oil or coal fired power plants ....
And don’t forget most of these plants don’t have any type of emissions systems in place.
And most of these plants will produce more pollution than your clean burning diesel or gas vehicles!!
And don’t forget that they are still trying find a way to recycle lithium batteries.

if it takes 8 hrs to charge your electric car at home .... give or take 4 hrs on a 110 or 220v outlet
And you do this everyday
How much will your electric bill be?
If you run your dryer for that length of time (approx 30 amps)
This sounds expensive...

Now how many people have bought or have a drill or what ever that uses a lithium battery
How about a laptop computer
How long did the batteries last......
I have owned a dozen laptops and never get more than 2 years out of the batteries.....
My dewalt drill batteries didn’t last.

Are electric cars really the answer?
Does this sound GREEN
Maybe if you could charge it from your own solar power it would be green...

Just typing as I think when it comes to GREEN
 

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We actually just bought a plug in hybrid '16 Ford C-Max for my wife. It was a 1 owner car with 35K miles on it, very clean condition and farkled out with leather, heated seats, good stereo, etc. Got the car out the door for 13.5K, which is a good deal. We signed up for "Time of Service" with our utility that gives us 5 cents per kWh rates from 9P to 9A, "normal" rates from 9A to 2P, expensive 18 cents per kWh rates from 2P to 6P and normal rates from 6P to 9P.

We did change our habits, running our dishwasher, washer and electric dryer during the cheap times, and of course charging the car at night. The car is using about 220 kWh per month, funny thing is our overall electric bill went down $3 as we try to run our heaviest power using appliances during the cheap rate time.

The car is averaging 93 MPG due to the 25 mile EV range, and being a hybrid typically gets in the mid 40s MPG once the charge is used up. The thing I like most about it is we can jump in the car and EV to the store or gym, my truck has not been short tripped since getting the car. I figure we are saving about $120 a month on gas, easy. I figure in about 6 years the car will depreciate to around $6,500 but we will save about that much in gas, so it will be "free" by then :)

Studies have been done on pure electrics, they do produce more CO2 in manufacture, but even with "dirty" power sources pass by gas engine cars after about 3 years. The advantage grows if the power source is clean of course. Electric is far more efficient than internal combustion. The big issue with electrics is recycling the batteries. There is money in used batteries though, I have faith that capitalism will figure that problem out if there is money to be made.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Loved hearing these thoughts and experiences. I built a solar system and we've been off-grid since 2014. I'd love an electric car but just don't have the power capacity to support it. What do you think of Tesla's new electric truck? And Ford is coming out with one too. I can't see all electric because of range limitations but a hybrid truck could be great. Electric motors have torque!
 

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Loved hearing these thoughts and experiences. I built a solar system and we've been off-grid since 2014. I'd love an electric car but just don't have the power capacity to support it. What do you think of Tesla's new electric truck? And Ford is coming out with one too. I can't see all electric because of range limitations but a hybrid truck could be great. Electric motors have torque!
I like Tesla, they have the most advanced battery chemistry, cooling/management and charging tech in the business. Their propulsion systems are robust and well designed. Tesla's whole reason for being is electric vehicles, the company is passionate about it, vs. other makers of ICE vehicles that are coming into the market to meet CAFE goals or simply trying to get a piece of the electric pie. That said, I think Elon did one too many Bong hits when it comes to the styling of the Cyber Truck, but it sounds like the underpinnings are typical Tesla, really excellent. I would like it a lot more if the Tesla somewhat conventional looking, like the Rivian electric truck is.

I see electric powered trucks taking off for local businesses that serve a certain radius area. It would be perfect to drive around the service area all day, charge at cheap commercial rates at night, and be relieved of the maintenance that comes with operating ICE powered trucks. Electric trucks should make real commercial sense soon. Why not an electric powered brown box on wheels UPS truck? Electric is great in stop and go use, and the range is there now.

I love my Canyon diesel and plant to keep it forever, but could see eventually getting a Tesla Model 3 for the wife's next car as electric power is fun to use. The wife's C-Max, with it's comparatively paltry 110 electric horsepower (190 total with the 145 horsepower 2 liter gas engine on line - apparently Ford dials down the electric contribution when the gas engine is running flat out) is pretty quick off the line in EV mode as there is no gear changing and just a continuous electric motor's pull. With the gas engine running and driven in a decidedly Eco unfriendly way with the pedal matted and the full 190 system ponies brought to bear, the car will torque steer all over the place off the line. It is definitely not a Prius. Way to go Ford! - hehe....
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yeah, i actually like the styling of that tesla truck, but like somebody said, "how would you put a rack on that thing?"
safe to say, we should have lots more options in the next few years. sure do like driving my checy colorectal though...
 

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I would love to see hybrid diesels. Some even run a CNG blend and it makes the trucks burn cleaner....

You could always just buy a gasser and convert it to propane
 

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Little off topic but is there any info on cost of replacing batteries out/feasibility of plug in hybrid just running off of gas when batteries do die out? I average 10-15 years on a vehicle and when I change vehicles that also means a new build so a vehicle that has to be replaced or has a big cost due to battery change leaves me with lots of questions.
Agree on electric diesel. VW did a diesel hybrid concept 8 or 9 years ago that had 100 mpg and had a range of over 800 miles iirc.
 

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Little off topic but is there any info on cost of replacing batteries out/feasibility of plug in hybrid just running off of gas when batteries do die out? I average 10-15 years on a vehicle and when I change vehicles that also means a new build so a vehicle that has to be replaced or has a big cost due to battery change leaves me with lots of questions.
Agree on electric diesel. VW did a diesel hybrid concept 8 or 9 years ago that had 100 mpg and had a range of over 800 miles iirc.
The batteries in a hybrid are pretty much a last the life of the car deal. They may degrade and "help" move the car less, but it will keep going. There are plug in conversion kits for hybrids - cost all depends on battery size of course. As a practical matter though, a hybrid owner should never have to worry about the battery. Since they are rather small, hybrid batteries are not that expensive to replace either, especially if one uses a re-manufactured/salvage battery. I have seen such batteries for my wife's car for around $400.

Tesla batteries are large and very expensive (5-7K or so), but have proven to be pretty bombproof. Seems to me the biggest stress on a Tesla battery is Super Charging, as they really dump the electrons in there at an impressive rate. Despite that, Teslas show little battery degradation, not even 10% after 150K miles. Teslas are much better thought out and engineered than the piss poor Nissan Leaf, which burns out it's small battery in a far shorter time, I suspect because Nissan took no steps to cool it. With EVs, you really do get what you pay for.

Back to hybrids, have been boning up on how their transmissions work. They are ingeniously mechanically simple, no clutches and direct drive gearing and yet "continuously variable" thanks to using their twin generator and drive motors. The algorithms that control the flow of current and locking/unlocking of the direct drive with it's sun and planetary gears, management of the AC/DC voltage inverter/converter must really be complex. It all works really smoothly in my wife's car, and the trans, as there is no normal torque converter with clutches, only hold a bit over 4 quarts of ATF specific to EV transmissions.

My brother in law has a car like ours, it has over 250K commuting on Los Angeles freeway miles on it. The transmission in the Ford is made by Ford, but is basically a copy of the Prius unit - evidently Ford and Toyota have some sort of tech sharing agreement. The Toyota hybrid power trains have proven to be remarkably reliable. They are complex in how the power train is controlled, but they simply do not have that many moving parts in the transmission, and Toyota builds a very good gas engine. As long as the electronics are well designed, hybrids tend to go and go. Toyota hybrids are used extensively by Yellow Cab in NYC. That is some tough duty - like 75K miles in the city a year tough.
 
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