Enabling Green Technology in Durham's City Fleet

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Southern Research Demonstrates Emissions Reductions Using EPA Emerging Technologies

DURHAM, NC--April 25, 2011 -- Durham residents can now breathe a little easier due to the recent installation of new emissions-reducing technology on some of the City of Durham’s fleet of vehicles and equipment.

Southern Research Institute and the Durham City Fleet Management Department—as part of their continued efforts to improve air quality—partnered in the installation of emission-reducing technologies on multiple vehicles and equipment in the City’s fleet. Earlier today the department and Southern Research, along with project participants—the Triangle Clean Cities Coalition, Engine Control Systems, and NETT Technologies, Inc.—debuted the use of these new systems, which were installed on 16 heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment.

Southern Research scientists at the Durham operation (energy and transportation focus) bid and won a $1 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify, test, and demonstrate advanced emissions-reduction technologies installed on Durham City fleet diesel vehicles.  The fleet will maintain and use these technologies through the life of the equipment on which they are installed.

According to Tim Hansen, Senior Program Leader for Southern Research Institute’s Advanced Energy and Transportation Technology Group in Durham, the testing of the new systems shows promising results in reducing NOx emissions from these 16 heavy-duty vehicles.

“Right now, we’re seeing NOx emissions reduced by up to 78 percent and hydrocarbon emissions reduced over 90 percent,” Hansen said. “Since the city will keep the technologies and equipment operational for several years, they will provide long-term environmental and health benefits for the Durham community.”  

Hansen and his team chose selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technologies from the EPA’s Emerging Technology List, which included NETT Technologies, Inc.’s BlueMAX and BlueMAX 200 urea-based SCR systems for on- and off-road applications as well as Engine Control Systems’ TermiNOx D urea-based SCR system for on-road applications.

“We have a responsibility to help protect Durham’s environment, and thus, are constantly looking for ways to get ahead of the curve on the use of new technology for our vehicles and equipment,” Kent Cash, director of the City’s Fleet Management Dept. said. “When we were approached by Southern Research Institute to become a partner on their project proposal to EPA’s Emerging Technology Program, we were excited about the potential to have them select and test advanced new vehicle emission controls on Durham city vehicles. Based on the initial testing results we’re seeing, that potential has become a reality and our air quality is a little better because of it.”

“Ultimately, the efforts of this department will help ensure that Durham is a place with thriving, livable neighborhoods, which is a major goal of the City’s new Strategic Plan,” Cash said. “This project is one of many that we are working on to improve our environment and we are continuing with our journey for better air for all. We are staying the course using a mix of new technologies and best fleet management practices.”

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