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Purdue diesel engine research used as base for new EPA standards

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — New technology is helping reduce pollution put out by engines in larger trucks and tractor-trailers.

Some of the technology was produced by researchers at Purdue University’s Herrick Labs, and is being used as the basis for recent tailpipe standards for heavy-duty trucks from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Greg Shaver, the director of the lab and a professor of mechanical engineering, has been part of the national effort to study the reduction of carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of diesel engines. Part of Shaver’s work includes cylinder deactivation.

“We can make (diesel engines) act smaller when we need to use less power,” Shaver said. “Instead of running all six cylinders, we can use 3 or 4, or maybe even 2 to produce power. By making these engines act smaller, we can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions from the engine.”

The EPA finalized the new tailpipe emissions requirements for trucks in December. Shaver said in a release by Purdue that the regulations were expected to take effect in 2027.