Bosch Claims “Breakthrough” Diesel Technology to Reduce NOx
Emissions Levels a Tenth of European Limit for 2020
Bosch claims it’s achieved a breakthrough in diesel exhaust treatment, lowering NOx levels 10 times lower than legal limits. In its own testing, Bosch was able to achieve NOx emissions of about 13 mg per kilometer, far below current European limits of 168 mg per kilometer and well ahead of the future limit of 120 mg per kilometer, due to take effect in 2020.
“There’s a future for diesel,” said Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. “Today, we want to put a stop, once and for all, to the debate about the demise of diesel technology.” Denner, speaking at a Bosch press conference April 25, used the occasion to introduce advances by the company that would reduce nitrogen emissions in both laboratory testing and real-world driving.
According to Bosch, the company merely refined and improved existing emissions controls, reducing the need for additional components that would drive up cost. Advanced fuel injection technology, new air management, and intelligent temperature management helped reduce pollution in a variety of driving situations, including winter and summer temperatures, in congested traffic, and in wide-open freeway driving.
According to Bosch, its airflow management system is highly responsive, with dynamic recirculation of exhaust gases to match a given driving style. Aiding in this quest is a turbocharger optimized for real-world driving, offering greater response than conventional turbochargers and allowing for both high- and low-pressure exhaust recirculation. Also helping control emissions is a thermal management system that ensures the exhaust temperature is within optimal range (at least 392 degrees Fahrenheit), even in driving situations where the exhaust tends to cool down—city driving, for example.
Announcing the company’s impressive emissions performance, Denner also called for realistic testing for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, meaning the vehicle would be tested under actual driving conditions rather than in a laboratory. That would improve transparency for the customer, Denner said, because the vehicle’s emissions performance and fuel economy ratings would be more closely aligned with what the driver experiences in the real world.
Bosch’s holistic take on the challenge of reducing diesel emissions is but one of many tactics used by companies to keep the fuel source relevant. With reduced NOx emissions made possible by merely refining current technologies, not inventing new ones, Bosch might have given diesel fuel a viable, cost-effective future. But as always, it’s going to be a matter of convincing the general public to trust diesel again after so many scandals and government interventions. We obviously hope for the best, as there’s nothing like the torquey, fuel-efficient pull of a diesel engine.