University of California, Riverside documents the brutal facts.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Sept. 22, 2012
A near future Freightliner Cascadia Evolution produces even less NOx and PM but also CO2 thanks to its > 10 mpgUS capability when fully loaded!
Ready for a “good ole” fashion charbroiled burger? Maybe you should consider a grilled one instead.
When we think of emissions, transportation is always the first to mind with a memory of smoke billowing diesel truck sitting at the forefront of a very short list. New research has found diesel trucks are only partly responsible and that problem has been dramatically reduced in the past 10 years.
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, however, have found that commercial charbroilers emit a large amount of particulate matter into the air we breathe; even more than diesel engines!
Commercial cooking equipment generates grease, smoke, heat, water vapor, and combustion products, but there are very few regulations for restaurant emissions. In its 2007 Air Quality Management Plan, SCAQMD determined that commercial cooking is second-largest source of particulate matter in the South Coast Air Basin.
Bill Welch, principal development engineer for the study at UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-Cert):
“Emissions from commercial charbroilers are a very significant uncontrolled source of particulate matter…more than twice the contribution by all of the heavy-duty diesel trucks. Just one charbroiled hamburger emits more unhealthful particulates into the air than an 18-wheeler does driving 143 miles.”
Their research indicates charbroiling a hamburger produces 5 gram of particulates per burger but grilling produces 1/10th that amount at less than .5 gram per burger.
The UC-Riverside study was funded by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
The Diesel Truck
The study found among other things that the particulate matter (PM) inventory from commercial cooking is more than double the inventory from heavy-duty diesel trucks.
According to the Diesel Technology Forum, the majority of particulate emissions in California come from brake and tire wear, with diesel emissions making up small and declining fraction.
Diesel Emissions Controls to the Rescue
New research released April 23, 2012 from North Carolina State University - "Real-World Measurement and Evaluation of Heavy Duty Truck Duty Cycles, Fuels, and Emission Control Technologies
" - shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Trucks in compliance with newer standards showed a 98 percent decrease in NOx and 94 percent reduction in PM emissions.
The reduction in NOx, SOx and PM emissions results from the shift to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) that reduces sulfur emissions by 97 percent and enables the use of advanced emissions NOx and PM emissions control technologies. The result is emissions of particulate matter from diesel engines make up less than six percent of all particulate emissions across the entire U.S.
So what will it be, a burger cooked from some Kingston on the “Barbie” or a short trip to your local McDonald’s? We now know which scenario produces fewer emissions. We all know neither is good for us. But we also know which tastes better. Pass the ketchup please