Diesel engine designer and manufacturer International Truck and Engine Corporation has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate EPA’s clean diesel combustion (CDC) technology, a potential pathway for diesel engines to meet stringent automotive Tier 2 emissions levels in 2007 and 2010.Announced on May 13 at the International Engine Group headquarters and technical center in Melrose Park, Ill., the partnership between International and EPA takes place through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to determine the commercial viability of the diesel emission technology, invented in the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich. The new technology uses in-cylinder control of nitrogen oxides (NOx) to reduce or eliminate entirely the need for aftertreatment related to NOx. International is evaluating CDC technology for use in its product line, starting with its V-6 diesel sized for SUVs and pickup trucks. “International has chosen to use diesel engines in its trucks because of the superior power, durability and fuel economy benefits,” said Jack Allen, president, Engine Group, International Truck and Engine Corporation. “Because we believe diesel offers the greatest opportunity as a power source for the future, we are committed to working with the EPA to develop and test new technologies.”At the event, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt said that this technology shows great potential to further the viability of environmentally friendly diesel power in popular passenger vehicles like SUVs and pickups. Such vehicles, he said, would save consumers money, reduce health-related and greenhouse gas emissions, and lower U.S. dependence on imported oil.“This is a winning relationship,” said Allen. “Truck owners win with low-cost, low-emissions diesel engine technologies, and the automotive industry wins with accelerated development of new technologies with huge commercial value.”Allen added that while the current technology will be tested on a V-6 engine for pickup and SUV applications, International also plans to look into ways to adapt the technology for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The new technology relies on improvements in several diesel engine systems, including fuel injection, air management, boost and combustion. It eliminates the need to rely on breakthrough aftertreatment technologies in order to reach upcoming EPA emissions standards. By reducing the cost of future emissions control, it is expected to make diesel a more viable option for light-duty applications such as automobiles and SUVs.