TULSA (JR) -- Synthetic fuels made from natural gas via the Syntroleum Process(TM) are being used in demonstration drives of the Dodge Power Wagon concept vehicle, as part of the DaimlerChrysler Ride & Drive Program that began May 11 at the Pocono International Raceway near Long Pond, PA.
The Ride & Drive Program, conducted mainly for the media and VIPs, is scheduled to take place this summer in numerous U.S. cities, including Washington D.C., Detroit, Chicago and Pebble Beach. It is designed to showcase DaimlerChrysler concept vehicles and technology to reduce emissions that were introduced at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January.
The Dodge Power Wagon is powered by a 7.2-liter, direct injection I-6 turbocharged diesel engine that generates 780 pounds per foot of torque. It is specifically designed to burn clean "designer" fuel like that being jointly developed by DaimlerChrysler and Syntroleum. The fuel is free of sulfur, aromatics and heavy metals, thus reducing exhaust emissions of nitrogren oxides, hydrocarbons and particulates that normally are emitted by compression-ignition engines. These fuels produce significantly lower emissions than regular diesel when used in conventional diesel engines, and are particularly well-suited to the new generation of compression- ignition engines which may soon power new automobiles and trucks that must meet the tighter emission standards that are being adopted in the United States and elsewhere. The efficiency of the new generation diesel engines combined with designer fuels can potentially cut carbon dioxide emissions by half, compared to gasoline powered vehicles. Bernard Robertson, senior vice president-engineering and technology with DaimlerChrysler recently stated that "with further refinement of engine technologies, exhaust after-treatments and cleaner fuels, diesel engines will be a major player as we continue to look for more efficient and cleaner powertrain alternatives. …