Clean Diesel Slowly Makes Its Way Around the World

BA BusesI was just in Buenos Aires, Argentina, enjoying long, sunny, Southern-Hemispheric days — and choking on clouds of stinky, old-fashioned diesel. While the U.S. market has diesels you can stand behind while wearing a white linen suit and not get dirty, Baires drivers still use the smelly, sooty, decidedly non-green diesel in cars, trucks, and city buses.

Compounding the massive carbon footprint left by all these old-skool engines is the rotten traffic. City streets can be as wide as twelve lanes — though lanes are mere suggestions for the citizens of Buenos Aires. Cars cram the smaller side streets, with drivers idling at red lights and honking in frustration. Even ambulances have a hard time getting through.

I saw not one hybrid or electric car on the streets in the week I spent in the city, but I did see a sign of green hope, like the single plant Eve retrieves from a ruined Earth in Wall-E (why yes, it was the in-flight movie. Why do you ask?). Argentine petroleum company YPF has billboards along the city’s streets informing the diesel-choked drivers that clean diesel is on its way.

The web site (which is in Spanish) lists the advantages of what the company is calling D-Euro diesel: cleaner combustion, more miles per gallon, and fewer emissions. The fuel will have fewer than 50 ppm of sulfur, closer to the 15 ppm in the ultra-low-sulfur diesel used in the U.S. D-Euro diesel is classified as Bin 4 in Europe.

Photo of Bs. As. buses by blmurch.

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  1. Used motorhomes’s avatar

    Wow…Nice car!!!