The U.S. Department of Energy has received a patent for a
series of reformulated diesel fuels that can reduce nitrogen oxides by up to 10
percent and particulate matter by up to 22 percent.
Megan Barnett, a spokeswoman for the department, said the
patent does not mean the DOE is advocating using the fuels, but rather, that
the fuel formulations are available for use without licensing or royalty fees.
Barnett said the formulas were developed by a team of
researchers who were looking ahead to anticipate future regulations on NOx and
particulate matter emissions.
As such, the blends did not really focus on sulfur content
and may have to be blended with ultra low-sulfur diesel to meet requirement
from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The research into these formulas began back in 2000, with
the goal of looking at the emission benefits. Barnett said the researchers
discovered a number of fuels that would reduce emissions and decided to submit
those under a patent so they would be available for public use.
The DOE conducted the research in conjunction with Oak Ridge
National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.