The Drive to Reduce Emissions
All engines – diesel, gasoline, propane, and natural gas – produce exhaust containing carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). In response to growing health and environmental awareness, regulatory authorities in Europe, Japan and the U.S. have agreed on setting emissions regulations, both for the on-road market, and more recently for off-highway diesel equipment as well.
The first regulations for off-highway diesel engines over 37 kW (50 hp) were introduced in 2001 (Stage I). Subsequently, more stringent regulations were set (Stage II and current Stage III A) with phase-in schedules from 2002 to 2008. The Stage III B regulations will be implemented between 2011 and 2013.
EU off-highway emissions regulations for 37-560 kW (50 – 760 hp) engines
The move to Stage III B emissions regulations is unquestionably the most significant to date. The regulations call for a 90-percent reduction in particulate matter (PM), along with a 50-percent drop in nitrogen oxides.
Stage IV emissions regulations will take PM and NOx emissions to near-zero levels by 2015.