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Designer Fuel Cuts Diesel Emissions.

Syntroleum Corp. has developed a so-called "designer" diesel fuel that enables diesel engines to meet the same emission limits as cars using today's gasoline and still get up to 40% better fuel economy.

Company spokesman John Ford says further development of engine fuel management systems and catalytic converters should let diesel engines burning the natural gas-based, sulfur-free fuel meet limits already adopted by California and proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 2004.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Syntroleum adapted a synthetic fuels process developed in Germany in the 1930s to produce liquid fuel from coal. The Syntroleum process, however, produces a liquid blend that then can be separated into diesel-compatible fuel, kerosene and naphtha. DaimlerChrysler, which backed the program, projects commercially produced Syntroleum fuel can be sold at $1.50 per gallon.

Syntroleum's fuel contains no aromatics or heavy metals so its exhaust is virtually free of hydrocarbons and particulates, the nemeses of today's diesel fuel, Ford says. And with no detectable levels of sulfur, it won't foul NOx-scrubbing catalytic converters.

Unlike compressed natural gas, methanol or electricity, Syntroleum's synthetic fuel requires no new infrastructure. In addition, today's diesel engines can burn it with no modifications.

Syntroleum has licensed its synthetic fuel process to Texaco, Arco, Marathon Oil, Kerr-McGee and Enron Corp.

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Author:Lankard, Tom
Publication:Automotive Industries
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 1999
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