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Technical Paper

Emissions from Trucks using Fischer-Tropsch Diesel Fuel

The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) catalytic conversion process can be used to synthesize diesel fuels from a variety of feedstocks, including coal, natural gas and biomass. Synthetic diesel fuels can have very low sulfur and aromatic content, and excellent autoignition characteristics. Moreover, Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuels may also be economically competitive with California diesel fuel if produced in large volumes. An overview of Fischer-Tropsch diesel fuel production and engine emissions testing is presented. Previous engine laboratory tests indicate that F-T diesel is a promising alternative fuel because it can be used in unmodified diesel engines, and substantial exhaust emissions reductions can be realized. The authors have performed preliminary tests to assess the real-world performance of F-T diesel fuels in heavy-duty trucks. Seven White-GMC Class 8 trucks equipped with Caterpillar 10.3 liter engines were tested using F-T diesel fuel.