ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Car Emission Scandal: Why Is It So Hard to Make Clean Diesel Cars?

Updated on February 15, 2017

Well known overseas carmakers VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda have agreed to pay penalties totaling over $20,000,000,000. We would like to analyze, understand and explain the roots of the latest US emissions scandal.

After being caught attempting to subvert emissions standards, manufacturers often obscure their malfeasances by overstating the complexity of any proposed solutions. In addition their proposed engineering solutions remain rudimentary. Furthermore, these solutions are often limited in their scope, whereas systemic changes are called for. Changes must be driven by neither production nor business interests, but by a holistic engineering approach.

Modern engine design has fundamentally remained the same for over a hundred years. The basic feature of Diesel and gasoline engines is that all the processes—fresh air charge intake, compression, expansion and exhaust removal – take place within the same cylinder. This places essential restrictions on the entire combustion process. Exhaust gases at high pressure and temperature are dumped into the atmosphere "half-cooked," meaning both fuel residue and heat energy remain in the emissions.

Engineers in the 1930s realized this fact and strived to design steam engines that expend generated energy completely. These engines used double or triple steam expansion, so that steam transforms its entire thermal energy into crankshaft rotation after passing several cylinders. Unfortunately this knowledge has been lost or perhaps ignored. Modern automakers have no desire to change Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) design. There is little to no inclination to capture thermal energy more efficiently.

The development of the modern ICE has already reached its theoretical limits. This means significant improvement is impossible while maintaining current design paradigms. While keeping the current ICE, automakers, engineers, and managers attempt to implement incremental improvements with external devices like afterburners, converters, and catalysts. Thus, they avoid any attempts to utilize exhaust gas energy in such a way that, immediately after leaving the cylinder, gas temperature and pressure are close to those of the environment—to truly exhaust the gas. Specific fuel consumption of such an engine would theoretically be dropped by half while engine power remains the same or increases. This is also a good opportunity to abandon hybrid technology, which is expensive and ineffective from a consumer point of view.

The main reason automakers are unwilling to change the ICE design is a disinclination to incur additional manufacturing costs. However, these costs pale in comparison to the penalties manufacturers pay when they claim lower emissions than they can achieve. It's not a big risk, however: manufacturers pay these astronomic penalties and then recoup their losses by passing costs on to consumers—a practice that is simply seen as the cost of doing business. These penalties are rather a point of competition than an incentive for manufacturers to provide us all with air free of harmful exhaust substances.

When an automaker truly intends to resolve emissions problems, the task should be to modify the entire ICE design in such a way as to ensure exhaust gases leave the cylinder at the temperature and pressure of the environment, having completely transferred their energy to a crankshaft.

It is a well-known fact that each unit of fuel in the combustion process of a conventional ICE produces energy is consumed by 3 major engine systems--mechanical, thermal, and exhaust--at roughly 1/3 of the total energy absorbed, each. We propose an engine that extracts 1/2 of the energy conventionally lost to the exhaust system, or a third of the total energy (1/2 x 1/3 = 1/6), and injects that energy into the mechanical system. Therefore, the mechanical system captures 1/2 of the total available energy {1/3 + 1/6 = 1/2} derived from the combusted fuel. Preliminary calculations based on computer models show that this engine actually delivers 52% of the total energy as mechanical energy

One proposed design implements extra cylinders to recapture useful exhaust, leading to higher efficiency. Gases at exit have close to environment temperature and pressure and contain much fewer harmful substances

Today, the automotive industry is in a state of bifurcation. The first player to realize, via engineering solutions, substantial increases in ICE efficiency will have the opportunity to capitalize on all future ICE production, giving them a decided competitive advantage. Though this task is neither simple nor inexpensive, it is certainly worthwhile for the long-term health of both industry and the environment. The importance of developing a clean engine cannot be overestimated; while profit motives are an important driver in the business world, the health of future generations is at stake.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)