Diesel cars: Is it time to switch to a cleaner fuel?

Our transport is heavily oil-based. What are the alternatives?

Moderator: Peak Moderation

vtsnowedin
Posts: 6592
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 10:14 pm
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

Post by vtsnowedin »

the demise of the combustion engine.”
And replace them with what?
$75,000 Telsas you say?
How much for the locomotive sized model?
Or the one that powers a container ship?
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

The complete demise of the internal combustion engine is unrealistic in the foreseeable future.
It seems reasonable however to work towards reducing the sizes and numbers of such engines, and reducing the hours for which they are used, and selecting the least polluting versions.

Railway locomotives should so far as possible be electric especially on busy routes where the capital costs of electrification are more readily repaid.
Battery powered locomotives are a possibility for relatively short distances such as in dockyards and industrial developments.

Engine driven ships should when possible be replaced with sailing vessels. When only short voyages are made, as is the case with many ferries and canal boats, then battery power should be considered.

Battery powered cars are fine for short trips, and in many cases longer trips would be better made by rail.

A lot of engine driven cars are used for very short trips for which walking or cycling would be sensible.
Horses could be used more in rural areas but are less viable in urban areas on account of the logistics of removing the droppings and providing the fodder.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
User avatar
biffvernon
Posts: 18539
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Post by biffvernon »

adam2 wrote:The complete demise of the internal combustion engine is unrealistic in the foreseeable future.
But climate science tells us that the complete demise of the human race then becomes inevitable. :(
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14622
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

Anyone who believes major profit-seekers' claims on anything is a fool.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

vtsnowedin wrote:
the demise of the combustion engine.”
And replace them with what?
$75,000 Telsas you say?
How much for the locomotive sized model?
Or the one that powers a container ship?
How about 'replacing' them with not moving us and our stuff around so much. It's simply bonkers how much we move around these days - there's no fundamental need for the majority of transportation.

It's wrongheaded to simply replace the ICE with a cleaner engine - far better to work out cunning ways to mitigate much of the current transport demand.
kenneal - lagger
Site Admin
Posts: 12380
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:35 am
Location: Newbury, Berkshire
Contact:

Post by kenneal - lagger »

If we stopped manufacturing STUFF that lasts on average six months and built things to last and weren't sold/didn't buy a lot of completely unnecessary STUFF then made what we really needed locally the amount STUFF and its ingredients would reduce dramatically. That wouldn't do much for growth though so won't be pushed by governments!!
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
Lurkalot
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:45 pm

Post by Lurkalot »

I was left thinking that just the other day. We had been to the pub for a meal and was waiting outside with my daughter when we spotted a small light on the floor. On closer examination it was a small led in a plastic cover with a bit of rubber attached to it. We were baffled as to what it was but the mystery was solved when my sister in law came out of the pub. It was an , apparently , safer version of a Chinese lantern , the bit of rubber being the balloon that carries the light . She showed us a video on her phone to prove it too. Leaving aside how littering the countryside with LEDs , rubber and dead batteries can be better than the original designs ( ok so they won't set light to anything) we found it almost beyond belief that crap like that is actually made.
Back to engines I'd agree the possible demise is at best widely optimistic and more likely complete fantasy. There was a documentary on BBC4 recently about the Diesel engine and at the end they came out with a pretty sobering statistic , 96% of all goods on the planet have a Diesel engine involved somewhere in their manufacture or distribution .
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

Lurkalot wrote:...we found it almost beyond belief that crap like that is actually made.
It's rather embarrassing to think what the guy in the Chinese factory thinks of 'us' actually paying good money (employing the worker) for what he must know is complete junk coming out of his factory.
User avatar
emordnilap
Posts: 14622
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:36 pm
Location: Hou�sʇlʎ' ᴉʇ,s ɹ��llʎ uoʇ �oɹʇɥ ʇɥ� �ɟɟoɹʇ' pou,ʇ �ʌ�u qoʇɥ�ɹ˙

Post by emordnilap »

kenneal - lagger wrote:If we stopped manufacturing STUFF that lasts on average six months and built things to last and weren't sold/didn't buy a lot of completely unnecessary STUFF then made what we really needed locally the amount STUFF and its ingredients would reduce dramatically. That wouldn't do much for growth though so won't be pushed by governments!!
Exactly. In a very similar vein, watching a TED 'debate' about pro- and anti-nuclear, no mention was even hinted at that we could all manage perfectly well with less energy. It was all about meeting demand and growth of demand.
I experience pleasure and pains, and pursue goals in service of them, so I cannot reasonably deny the right of other sentient agents to do the same - Steven Pinker
User avatar
clv101
Site Admin
Posts: 8771
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Contact:

Post by clv101 »

Indeed, the whole multi-billion pound Hinkley debacle rests on the fact 'we' can't be bothered to figure out how to cut our electricity consumption by 7%.
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5805
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

some details of the fixes needed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34505593
About 400,000 Volkswagen cars in the UK will need fuel injectors altered as well as a software fix, its UK boss said.

Paul Willis, UK managing director, said that cars fitted with the 1.6L diesel engine would need the physical remedy.

Those with the larger 2L engine would only need a software fix, he told the Commons Transport select committee.
No mention of the 1.2L engine, which my car has. My guess that the software only fix will reduce power and meet emissions that way, whilst in the 1.6L this would impact performance to the point that customers would notice. I'm wondering how they fix the 1.2L which is already under powered compared to most engines in modern cars.
User avatar
adam2
Site Admin
Posts: 8142
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:49 pm
Location: North Somerset

Post by adam2 »

The fix might be relatively simple.
These vehicles are fitted with a system that injects an additive into the exhaust in order to reduce some emissions. The cheating consists of detecting test conditions and injecting a larger dose of additive than is used in normal driving.
Since the additive is not expensive, this is presumably to reduce the size of the container and increase the intervals between replenishment.


It therefore seems to me that the cheating software needs to be replaced with new software that injects the full dose of additive whenever needed, in order to achieve in actual driving results more comparable to the tests.

This should not reduce power output nor increase fuel consumption.

The additive reservoir will then need more frequent re-filling. This should be done at VWs expense since they misled the customer.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
User avatar
PS_RalphW
Posts: 5805
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Cambridge

Post by PS_RalphW »

Only the larger, more recent diesel models have the Ad-Blue system. Mine does not. It may be necessary to add it, new injectors, and replace the exhaust catalyst system as well. And change the software. For a car with a £10,000 original list price.
AutomaticEarth
Posts: 823
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:09 am

Post by AutomaticEarth »

Things could be about to get worse for VW:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34601593
Lurkalot
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:45 pm

Post by Lurkalot »

Apologies for this being completely off topic , mods can delete if you wish , but I thought I'd give an update on my puzzling Chinese floating light crap. We found the thing just prior to me posting so around the 4 th october. Out of interest I took it home and for close to two weeks it was bright enough to use to read with or provide enough light to move around the house at night. From then it started to dim and is now still on but down to a pinprick of light. I think the thing that amazes me is just how much energy is stored in something that in all reality is visible for a quarter of an hour at best .
Post Reply