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Near-Zero Emissions Possible Now for Commercial Trucks

May 4, 2016 By: Steve Mitchell Tags: ACT Expo, News
ACT Expo: Near-Zero Emissions Possible Now for Commercial Trucks

Organizers of this week’s ACT Expo in Long Beach, Calif., released a technical white paper on Tuesday that claims heavy-duty trucks can immediately address clean air and climate protection issues by formulating a combo plate that includes engine technology and renewable natural gas fuel.

Gladstein Neandross & Associates (GNA), organizers of the 2016 Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo now underway at the Long Beach Convention Center, terms the near-zero (that’s 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx) natural gas engine — using renewable natural gas as a fuel — is an environmental “game changer” for the trucking industry.

The white paper compares four fuel-technology combinations that each address near-zero-emission engines using renewable natural gas to achieve major reductions in emissions of pollutants, air toxins and greenhouse gases from on-road commercial trucks.

GNA, which is a leading consulting firm specializing in market development for low-emission and alternative fuel vehicle technologies, concludes that there is only one pathway in  heavy-duty trucking applications that meets the commercial feasibility and logistics tests to immediately begin this transformation.

And it says this solution is near-zero-emission heavy-duty natural gas vehicles fueled by increasing volumes of ultra-low-GHG renewable natural gas (RNG).

During a morning session Tuesday at the ACT Expo, attendees explored the solution that makes zero-emission equivalent vehicle operations possible for the transportation industry, starting with heavy-duty vocational applications such as refuse, transit, municipal and urban delivery, and then expanding to over-the-road trucking.

Written on behalf of several private and public sector organizations, the report explores the need and approaches to start deploying zero-emission and near-zero-emission heavy-duty vehicle technologies on a wide-scale basis in the United States.

The report concludes that, with nearly 166 million Americans residing in areas with exceedingly poor air quality, and with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) contributing to global climate change, America needs to more aggressively transform on-road HDVs to the lowest emission technologies and fuels available.

“As progressive corporations and municipalities across America are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint, we are seeing increased focus on the transportation sector to address sustainability goals,” said Erik Neandross, CEO of Gladstein, Neandross and Associates and co-author of the whitepaper.

“This engine-fuel combination provides a phenomenal opportunity for progressive heavy-duty fleet operators to effectively eliminate emissions from their mobile operations.”

Neandross said heavy-duty natural gas engine technology available today is more than 90 percent cleaner than the most stringent applicable U.S. EPA standards for oxides of nitrogen. With such low-emissions, this engine technology has a similar smog-precursor emission profile as that of a heavy-duty battery electric truck plugged into the cleanest electrical grid in the nation.

These benefits, as well as significant reductions in GHG emissions, are achieved with HDVs fueled by conventional natural gas. When fueled with RNG (made from renewable waste stream sources such as landfill gas, dairy waste, waste water treatment plants and other sources), lifecycle GHG emissions are reduced by more than 80 percent.

The white paper also describes recommended actions for government and industry stakeholders that can begin broad deployments of this engine/fuel combination. These recommendations include:

  • Establishing or strengthening national, state and local incentive funding programs to help produce and deploy these new-generation heavy-duty NGVs
  • Developing focused efforts that help produce and transport RNG, where the economics and logistics are most conducive.

To view the executive summary and the full white paper, visit