Infrastructure Week, which began on Monday and finishes today, celebrates the accomplishments of hundreds of organisations in Washington DC, USA. This coming-together of manufacturing and construction professionals has highlighted the fact that diesel equipment serves as the overwhelming power source for past and future infrastructure growth, thanks to its reliability and green credentials.
Allan Schaeffer, Executive Director of Diesel Technology Forum, issued this expert statement on the subject:
Diesel powers over 90 percent of machines and equipment for building and repairing infrastructure
"Infrastructure is the back bone of the U.S. economy and our global competitiveness, and it's vital we start reinvesting in its future. It's been over 40 years since most portions of the Interstate Highways System were completed. Since then the materials and methods for safe road building and design have advanced by leaps and bounds. And so have the machines that do the work.
"Diesel engines are the workhorse of all infrastructure projects. Over two thirds of all construction machines are powered by diesel and nearly all the largest equipment has diesel as the technology of choice. Whether we're talking about moving massive amounts of dirt, milling pavement, pouring concrete, trenching for cables, or laying pipe for new clean water systems, or massive cranes used for building bridges, the jobs all come back to diesel power.
"Thanks to innovation in engine technology and emissions control systems, the end result is that these technologies enable infrastructure projects to be built faster, using less fuel, and generating a fraction of the emissions from even a decade ago. These advances will especially be important to the people living and working in the communities around these job sites.”
Emissions from new clean diesel equipment have been reduced to near zero levels
"One of the biggest advancements comes from the new generation of construction machines and equipment that do the work. Emissions from mission-critical new clean diesel equipment have now been reduced to near zero levels which is providing major environmental benefits throughout the country. From bulldozers, to excavators and motor graders, the latest generation, or Tier 4, engines reflect the most advanced emissions standards for off-road equipment established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for equipment manufactured since 2014.
"Depending on the horsepower range of the machine, emissions of particulate matter (soot) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) have all been reduced by more than 90 percent.
"Manufacturers have taken efficiency, fuel savings and lower emissions well beyond the design of the engine to include efficiency improvement in the overall machine. Advanced engine designs, hybrid capabilities in some machines along with energy storage technologies, and even advanced telematics systems, GPS and integrated work site control systems are now deployed in new equipment and combine to yield substantial fuel savings and emission reductions.
"The adoption of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in 2010 set in motion the path to clean diesel technology, for off-road equipment. Increasingly in the future the use of advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels will provide additional options for lowering emissions and reducing carbon footprints."
Around 850,000 diesel-powered vehicles across the US are in use to bring supplies, materials, and workers to and from construction sites. There is simply no viable diesel alternative for equipment which exceeds 500 horsepower. Diesel is not only holding up the industry in America, but ensuring a huge economy boost and millions of jobs.