Heavy Duty Trucking

NOV 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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Letters 10 HDT • NOVEMBER 2014 www.truckinginfo.com A look at alt fuels It's great that HDT is covering a broad array of "alternative fuels" for the industry as a whole (September issue). One sector missing is diesel water emulsions. DWE has been used extensively in Europe and here in the U.S. in 24/7 operations. Historically, DWE has shown to reduce wear and soot deposits in engine oils and burns significantly cleaner than diesel. DWE is the only technology that can provide improved mileage and significantly reduce NOx and PM emissions simultaneously. Louis Conti via TruckingInfo.com comments Editor's Note: Conti is president and CEO of Fierce Fuel, which is selling a diesel-water emulsion product in the aftermarket. Thank you for offering exposure to the GTL, gas-to-liquid, product. I have followed the process' expansion and benefits for a number of years and wanted to contribute a few additional "factoids." First, the U.S. will have an opera- tional GTL refinery on line, produc- ing diesel from natural gas, sometime in 2018. Sasol is currently building a $11-$14 billion dollar GTL refinery in West Lake, La. Once operational, the plant will have a daily capacity of 92,000 barrels (4 million gallons) of "diesel" fuel. Second, Shell's decision to "shelve" the proposed GTL plant in Norco, La., according to reports in Motley Fool, was due as much (or more than) to investor concerns over Shell's capital expenditures than the incre- mental cost of the plant's construction. My understanding — granted, totally subjective on my part — is Shell has not "written off " the GTL market in the U.S. The possibility of a large scale GTL refinery remains an investment opportunity for future examination. Greg Foreman via TrickingInfo comments Editor's Note: Thanks for the infor- mation. After we went to press with our September issue, South African-based Sasol cleared a major regulatory hurdle in its plans to build a GTL plant in Louisiana when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved its wetland modifi- cation permit. Making a change Editor's Note: In the September 2014 issue, Equipment Editor Jim Park discussed how reduced stopping distance rules are influencing what is happening at the wheel-end. My company went to disc brakes to meet the new braking requirements. We (drivers) love them! Great stop- ping in short distances. There are only two downsides from my viewpoint: 1. When my truck is in the shop, I usu- ally would drive one of our older trucks with drum brakes as a "loaner" truck. I have to remember that it has drum brakes and won't stop nearly as quick as the disc-brake-equipped truck. 2. I get a lot of brake dust on my shiny aluminum wheels on the steer axle. Timothy Ahrens via TruckingInfo.com comments A question about opposed-piston diesels When reading "Opposed-Piston Truck Diesels About Five Years Away," in the September issue, I was concerned about some of the misinformation. The subtitle "Truck users can look forward to 30% better fuel economy" was astounding, until I read that the 30% comes from improvements made in the 1930s, not what is ex- pected today. Beginning on page 42, at the bottom, "a two-stroke design, made famous by General Motors and De- troit Diesels starting in the 1930s. Like them an Achates OP has no intake or exhaust valves and no heavy cylinder heads." Having worked on Detroit en- gines as a mechanic for over 18 years, I can assure you that though the GM and Detroit engines do not have intake valves, they most assuredly do have exhaust valves and heavy heads. The image of the opposed piston engine on page 42 incorrectly identi- fies the blower as a "supercharger." A true supercharger compresses more air into the cylinder than what the engine could do on its own. This means the engine could run without the super- charger. In fact, Achates, like the GM and Detroit engines, could not run at all without the blower because the pistons in these engines do not draw air they have to rely on the blower to push it in through the ports around the cylinder liners when exposed. James (Pat) Cline Regional Warranty Specialist SE Region International Truck and Engine Editor's Note: Mr. Cline is correct about Detroit two-strokes having exhaust valves. But the Achates two-stroke design does not have any valves. Inlet and exhaust ports in an Achates cylinder are opened and closed by its two pistons as they move past the ports. "Supercharger" is Achates' term for mechanically driven blower, which pumps clean air into the cylinders. It also uses a turbocharger. The Achates design maintains the 30% fuel economy advantage over conven- tional piston engines while stripping out exhaust pollutants to meet current limits. WRITE TO US! Send your letters to Editor in Chief Deborah Lockridge via email at dlockridge@truckinginfo.com. Letters are subject to editing for length and clarity.

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