How to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Updated April 17, 2017

Reducing diesel engine exhaust emissions is central to government efforts to reduce the impact of global warming and improve the environment. Exhaust emissions from diesel engines causes air pollution and health problems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, every 60p spent on clean diesel schemes delivers around £8 in public health benefits. The EPA is reducing diesel emissions through regulation and by supporting new clean diesel technology. As an individual, there are several ways to reduce diesel engine exhaust emissions from your vehicle.

Use low-sulphur diesel fuel instead of regular diesel. This is a straightforward and cost-efficient method of reducing diesel emissions. Low sulphur diesel produces less soot and particulate emissions and fewer sulphur oxides.

Retrofit a diesel catalyst. Catalysts reduce diesel emissions by changing the chemical composition of the exhaust gas. Modern diesel catalysts control particulates and carbon monoxide emissions.

Install a diesel-trap device. Diesel traps filter exhaust emissions by trapping the pollution-causing soot and particulates. Diesel-trap technology is expensive and has been adopted by few commercial operators.

Install engine idle-reduction technology. This includes any device that reduces the need for diesel engines to idle for long durations. Commonly used idle reduction devices include automatic engine shut-off and battery-powered air-conditioning systems.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many U.S. states offer financial incentives to companies and commercial operators to help them reduce diesel emissions.

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About the Author

Adrian Grahams began writing professionally in 1989 after training as a newspaper reporter. His work has been published online and in various newspapers, including "The Cornish Times" and "The Sunday Independent." Grahams specializes in technology and communications. He holds a Bachelor of Science, postgraduate diplomas in journalism and website design and is studying for an MBA.