Tier 4 Engines Offer Agriculture A Breath Of Fresh Air

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Recently, I was reading an article online that stated that more than half of the major cities in China possess substandard air quality, with excessive smog an almost daily occurrence. Luckily, for U.S. breathers, this type of problem might not be much of an issue going forward.

The federal government has mandated that engines of 75 horsepower and above will be required to reduce their output of nitrogen oxides emissions by 80% over the next few years. For off-road diesel engines, these requirements take effect next year, 2013, for engines of 74 horsepower and below.

To comply with these new standards, several ag equipment engine manufacturers such as Case IH and Caterpillar have introduced interim Tier 4 engines over the past year or so. Most of these engines use urea in their design to “scrub” the air running through them before it is expelled as exhaust.

But at the recent Commodity Classic, John Deere announced its plans for what it is calling “the final stage Tier 4 solution,” the Integrated Emissions Control System. “The past few years, we have been spending millions and millions of dollars to develop new technology for the engines and the integrated technology we need in the vehicles to make everything work as a very productive package,” said Barry Nelson, manager, public relations, advertising & marketing communication department, at the press briefing announcing the new engine.

Consisting of an exhaust filter and SCR after-treatment components, the Integrated Emissions Control System allows John Deere engines to utilize less diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) than alternative Interim Tier 4/Stage III B SCR technology solutions. According to the company, this means DEF tank sizes can be smaller, minimizing the impact on vehicle applications, extending filter service intervals and reducing operator involvement.

It’s nice to see agricultural companies taking such a proactive approach to the issue of emissions. This will go a long way in providing everyone in the country with some much needed fresh air.

Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.

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