The difference that refining makes

Just in case anybody thinks diesel engine fuel standards have not made a difference, check out the smoke here at the beginning of this clip from the marvelously campy 1980s mini-series Monte Carlo. You don’t–or you shouldn’t–generally see this level of particulate emissions from any diesel engine at this point due to much more stringent refining requirements, both in the US and and in Europe.

And you get Joan Collins and George Hamilton!

2 thoughts on “The difference that refining makes

  1. This is an unfair comparison. While refining may be responsible for a decrease in particulate emissions in diesel engines, the main reason for the dramatic decrease over the years is actually engine design. New engines, especially turbo and supercharged engines, burn fuel much more efficiently than an antique locomotive. many refining requirements are designed to decrease emissions at the time of manufacture, not use.

  2. I didn’t say that refining was the only difference, though I could see why you could read it that way. Thanks for pointing out the engine differences, you’re right.

    However…it’s not like older diesel engines are out of commission. But yes, the one in the Monte Carlo video is old, even then, and we are looking at a video from the early 1980s.

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