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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A radio news article today concerned the introduction of a new train locomotive, a gas-electric hybrid. As many know, conventional train engines are diesel-electric hybrids, very dirty and noisy. This one has a large battery pack and often runs solely on electricity, and the gas engine is a heavy duty truck engine. A demonstration was held and the warning bell on the crossing arm was louder than the locomotive!

At the end of the piece, it was pointed out that these new engines are also very clean (at least for locomotives). She stated that it was equivalent to 100 Priuses. Looks like we have a new yardstick for pollution levels!

I also suspect the reporter drives one... ;-)
 

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If they can make diesel cars run clean, they can make diesel trains run clean too. And they can do the same electrical enhancements on the diesel hybrid that they are doing on the gasoline hybrid.
 

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I seem to remember hearing a story on NPR a year or two ago about Deisel emissions. One of the points made (that didn't make sense to me) was that cleaning the exhaust reduced the performance of the engine.

I guess that would be true if the exhaust was filtered some way, but I'm thinking they should be looking at more efficient ways to burn the fuel...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Diesels emit particulates, which have to be filtered. There doesn't seem to be a known way to avoid producing these fine particles that lodge deep in lungs. There is growing evidence this risk has been underestimated. Filtering causes back pressure, which hurts efficiency. Is sulfer also a problem with diesel? I'm far from an expert on them.
 

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KTPhil said:
Diesels emit particulates, which have to be filtered. There doesn't seem to be a known way to avoid producing these fine particles that lodge deep in lungs. There is growing evidence this risk has been underestimated. Filtering causes back pressure, which hurts efficiency. Is sulfer also a problem with diesel? I'm far from an expert on them.
Yes. Sulfur catalyzes the production of particulates. Take out the sulfur and the particulates nearly vanish. That in turn makes it easier to apply particulate traps and catalytic convertors to the exhaust.

Responsible fleet operators are already using Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel (no more than 15 PPM). Retail ULSD is mandated in the US starting 1 July 2006. Diesel electric hybrids will be available soon after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gee, how about if we squeeze the oil out of McDonald's hamburgers and burn that in our diesels? (Kinda like that scene in "Kentucky Fried Movie.") Two birds with one stone!
 

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richard schumacher said:
Yes. Sulfur catalyzes the production of particulates. Take out the sulfur and the particulates nearly vanish.
The primary reason that low-sulfur fuel is critical is that sulfur poisons most catalysts. Catalysts are avaliable that will burn off particulates, so you get two levels of particulate reduction with low-sulfur fuel.
 

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The "Green Goat" hybrid locomotive is Diesel/Battery/Electric. Not Gas/Electric.

Several railroads have ordered these and Union Pacific has some in service already.

Gasoline engines do not hold up well in severe service. They also don't have the torque characteristics that make for good locomotives. The Green Goat works because, like our Priuses, adding a battery to store surplus energy allows the prime mover (ICE engine) to be made smaller as it doesn't have to be able to provide peak output, just peak output minus the battery's output ability. Hybridization works for small switch engines because they don't use their full capacity most of the time. Big road locomotives tend to run at full power all nearly all the time, so they are already quite efficient.

There is a new standard "Tier 2" for diesel locomotives which has been implemented in new models by both major US locomotive makers (GE and Eletro-Motive). It provides for substantial cleanup of emissions with a slight detuning of performance from previous models.
 

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hyperion said:
Phil, all that has been cleared up by the Washington oil lobby. I think there is a congressional report about it. The gist about the report I believe is that McDonald hamburgers are more harmfull to the human body that diesal emmissions.
Diesel engines (all of em, cars, trucks, farm equipment, locomotives, etc )account for 70% of all air pollution in state of CA
 

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An04Prius said:
hyperion said:
Phil, all that has been cleared up by the Washington oil lobby. I think there is a congressional report about it. The gist about the report I believe is that McDonald hamburgers are more harmfull to the human body that diesal emmissions.
Diesel engines (all of em, cars, trucks, farm equipment, locomotives, etc )account for 70% of all air pollution in state of CA
*cough cough!*

Ahem.. sorry. :)
 

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Another new unit: an 'Exxon Valdez' ....

The Prius as a new unit reminds me of another unusual created (and non-SI) unit:
A geologist from Texas A&M University coined the term/unit: an Exxon Valdez unit of oil. It is the amount of oil the EV lost in the horriffic Prince William Sound oil spill disaster.
The geologist used the term in a presentation about natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Naturally, apparently 1.5 - 2.5 Exxon Valdez units seep out of the sea floor on an annual basis.
:shock:
 

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Re: Another new unit: an 'Exxon Valdez' ....

MGBGT said:
The Prius as a new unit reminds me of another unusual created (and non-SI) unit:
A geologist from Texas A&M University coined the term/unit: an Exxon Valdez unit of oil. It is the amount of oil the EV lost in the horriffic Prince William Sound oil spill disaster.
The geologist used the term in a presentation about natural oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico. Naturally, apparently 1.5 - 2.5 Exxon Valdez units seep out of the sea floor on an annual basis.
:shock:
That's a lot of oil. Of course, if the seepage is over the entire Gulf of Mexico, and it occurs over an entire year, I doubt it does any harm.
 
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