Why diesel is a trusted formula

21 January 2014

Despite competition from a growing range of alternative fuel options, the traditional diesel engine will continue to hold its own for many years to come, says Ed Fort, Lloyd’s Register’s Head of Marine Engineering Services.

The diesel engine’s simplicity masks an underlying ingenuity that can convert the residue of the oil refining industry into reliable propulsion more efficiently than any other internal combustion engine being used today, says Fort.

Perhaps the only point of contention is known as the Diesel Dilemma, he says. The slow-speed diesel’s highly optimised generation means that attempts to reduce NOᵪ emissions causes greater fuel consumption and a corresponding increase in CO₂ emissions. Which has led to greater competition from alternative fuels.

However, as Fort points out: "Led by the automotive sector, engineers worldwide are investigating advanced combustion technologies, in order to develop an in-cylinder approach to meeting emissions standards and thus avoiding the need for after-treatment systems or, at the very least, reducing the performance demands on the after-treatment systems, thus reducing their cost and complexity."

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