Companies prepare for Tier 4B compliance by 2014.
Case IH, John Deere, and other makers of off-road diesel engines have been developing cleaner technologies over the past two decades, thanks to a steady stream of emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency. It was a journey that began in 1996, when the initial Tier 1 standards were initiated. Today, off-road diesel manufacturers are preparing for Tier 4B compliance.
These latest requirements are significant – particulate matter and nitrogen oxide levels must be reduced to near zero for most power categories by 2014. But original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have stepped up to the challenge.
Case IH has developed a patented Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology that is protected by eight separate patents. SCR is an engine exhaust after-treatment that works outside the engine, unlike competitive exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or hybrid alternatives. Company officials are looking at benefits beyond better emissions reduction.
"Case IH SCR-only systems help reduce the need for oil changes and cut fuel consumption compared to previous-generation emissions systems," says David Stark, Case IH North America sales and product trainer. "These types of changes can make a real, positive economic impact over time.
Horsepower hasn’t suffered as a result of improved fuel efficiency either, he adds.
"When the emissions components from the engine are removed, the engine can breathe and produce high levels of horsepower," he says. "There are no emissions components on the engines, which is one reason for the higher horsepower levels.
Case IH just one example of an OEM bringing unique solutions to Tier 4B compliance. Others are also hard at work on their own emissions innovations. John Deere, for example, has developed an "integrated emissions control system" that combines a diesel oxidation catalyst, diesel particulate filter and an SCR system, and which will paired with its proven EGR system. John Piasecki, director of worldwide marketing, said this setup will deliver "power, performance, ease of operation, fluid efficiency, reliability and economical operating cost."
"At John Deere, we continue to offer the right combination of technologies at the right time to meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations and customer needs," Piasecki says.
At AGCO, engineers continue to build on the company’s e3 SCR technology it developed in 2009. CEO Martin Richenhagen says that while emissions technologies have changed over the years, the overall focus has not.
"Our e3 solution delivers exactly what modern agriculture demands," he says. "Cleaner emissions, improved economics and reliable performance."
And the list goes on. The improvements have been incremental, but the net improvements over the past 16 years have been remarkable.