Cleaning up the internal combustion engine

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Emission standards for diesel engines used in fork lift trucks are effectively the same for Europe and the United States.

A 1997 European Union directive set out regulations for “non-road” diesel vehicles which provided for a two stage scheme, the second of which was implemented from 2001 to 2004.

The equipment covered by the standard included industrial drilling rigs, compressors, construction wheel loaders, bulldozers, non-road trucks, highway excavators, forklift trucks, road maintenance equipment, snow ploughs, ground support equipment in airports, aerial lifts and mobile cranes.

Stage III/IV emission standards for non-road engines were adopted by the European Parliament in 2004 Stage III standards are being phased-in from 2006 to 2013 while Stage IV enters into force in 2014. The legislation applies only to new vehicles and equipment. Replacement engines to be used in machinery already in use should comply with the limit values that the engine to be replaced had to meet when originally placed on the market.

Regulators in the EU, USA, and Japan have been under pressure from engine and equipment manufacturers to harmonise worldwide emission standards, to streamline engine development and emission type approval/certification for different markets. Stage I/II limits were in part harmonised with US regulations. Stage III/IV limits are harmonised with the US Tier 3/4 standards.

Thermote & Vanhalst is offering soot filters from Donaldson. The Donaldson soot filters with replaceable filter cartridges offered by TVH with its lift trucks, have an impressive efficiency of up to 99.98 per cent. A warning system timely indicates when the filter is full; under normal operating conditions the filter cartridge must be replaced every 300 to 400 hours for an optimal functioning. The cellulose cloth filter cartridge is the heart of the soot filter. It can withstand high temperatures (320-340°C). The exhaust fumes pass through the filter cartridge, which stops nearly all the diesel soot content. Lift trucks with a power higher than 59 KW (80 horsepower) need to be fitted with two filter cartridges.

Toyota offers the DPF-11, a diesel particulate filter which eliminates nearly 100 per cent of black carbon particles in diesel exhaust and is used to reduce emissions from diesel engines. The three-way Catalytic Converter System helps to reduce harmful emissions from LPG engines and vehicles. Toyota also offers trucks that run on clean energy such as LPG or CNG.

Companies are increasingly looking at bio-fuels as an alternative to standard diesel. For example, Yale Europe Materials Handling now offers selected models from its VX and DB/EB ranges of IC-engine driven counterbalanced trucks can now be powered by a blend of bio-diesel and traditional petroleum diesel (petro-diesel).

VX and DB/EB series trucks featuring Yanmar and Cummins engines are approved for a bio-diesel blend known as B5 – which is made up of five per cent bio-diesel and 95 per cent standard petroleum diesel.

Bio-diesel is made mainly from organic vegetable oils. When mixed with petro-diesel at the five per cent ratio, it has been can offer significant environmental benefits.

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