New Green Machines
The latest heavy-duty diesel pickups will be able to burn greener—fuel, that is. New models are coming down the road that use B20 (80% ultra-low-sulfur diesel and 20% biodiesel).
GM's next-generation Duramax 6.6-liter turbo diesel engine has been substantially revised to allow B20 capability and meet strict new emissions standards that become effective this year. The new Duramax engine will power the redesigned 2011 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups.
Ford has also added B20 compatability in its all-new 2011 Super Duty. These moves match the B20 capability of the Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six that currently powers the Dodge Ram HD lineup. Currently, Dodge Ram B20 trucks are available only to fleet and military customers.
Heavy Chevy. "B20 capability in our new heavy-duty trucks is the latest addition to a growing number of
alternate fuel options offered by General Motors,” says Mike Robinson, vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. "We are seeking different paths to fuel solutions in order to maximize efficiency, reduce emissions and minimize the dependence on petroleum.”
To make the Duramax 6.6-liter and its fuel system compatible with B20, GM upgraded seals and gasket materials to withstand the ester content of biodiesel and included an upgraded fuel filter that features a coalescing element. It improves the separation of water that may be present in the fuel since biodiesel can attract and absorb water. Also, additional heating of the fuel circuit was included to reduce the chance of fuel gelling or waxing, which can plug filters.
The Duramax 6.6-liter diesel particulate regeneration system features a downstream injector that supplies fuel for the regeneration process. This reduces oil dilution, which is important when using biodiesel.
Built tough. The 2011 F-Series
Super Duty features new powertrains led by the Ford-designed, -engineered and -built 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbocharged diesel engine, which has up to B20 compatibility.
Because biodiesel fuel varies in quality in the U.S. and Canada, durability testing cycles were run on multiple blends to ensure the robustness of the system.
- Early Spring 2010