technology: Supercharger Helps Waste Trucks Clean Up Their Acts

MarBorg Industries, a residential and commercial hauler based in Santa Barbara County, Calif., not only is protecting the environment by reducing emissions from its diesel-powered trucks, it also is adding to the company's bottom line, thanks to a contract with Turbodyne Technologies Inc., Woodland Park, Calif.

On the heels of a successful ongoing pilot program that began in September 1998, in which Turbodyne retrofitted two MarBorg trucks with Turbopac emission reduction and power enhancement units, MarBorg is expanding the program to five trucks in its fleet of approximately 45 vehicles. It is hoping for results similar to the pilot: better fuel-efficiency, improved power and reduced emissions.

During typical acceleration and stop-and-go operations, diesel engines typically are supplied with excessive fuel and insufficient air, which results in incomplete combustion.

This causes higher fuel consumption and emissions, primarily excessive, unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides and particulate matter (PM).

The new technology attacks this problem by increasing air flow to the engine momentarily. While a catalytic converter cleans up exhaust emissions after combustion, Turbopac works prior to combustion in the engine to prevent pollutants from forming in the first place. This system improves the air-to-fuel ratio during combustion, thereby optimizing engine operation to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Turbopac is a supercharger powered by a high-speed, brushless motor, which uses electrical power from the vehicle's electric system for short periods of time, typically less than three seconds. This occurs primarily during initial acceleration to supply additional air when remote sensors determine the need for more power.

The unit is installed between the air intake system and the turbocharger on turbocharged diesel engines. On normally aspirated or non-turbocharged engines, the unit is installed directly onto the manifold.

Turbodyne's Dynacharger is an original equipment manufacturer version that is integrated directly into the center section of a turbocharger.

According to Turbodyne, Turbopac installation requires only a few hoses and valving, and it can be completed in two to three hours.

The results are worthwhile, according to MarBorg. The company reports that the units help its fleet's diesel engines exceed air quality standards set by the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

As an added benefit, the voluntary NOx reductions qualify MarBorg's fleet to earn cash pollution credits of up to $2,000 per vehicle in California, which also helps to offset the units' installation costs. Also, drivers enjoy the power increase, MarBorg says, and trucks have improved fuel efficiency.

While the contract between Turbodyne and MarBorg initially was geared to eliminate black smoke and reduce PM to meet California environmental regulations, the deal also has paved the way for another pilot program. This pilot program's goal will be to reduce NOx pollution to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency levels for 2002.

Because waste disposal trucks operate on stop-and-go cycles, especially in residential areas, they are more visible and thus, subjected to more scrutiny for meeting air quality standards.

Consequently, Turbodyne is in negotiations and is conducting pilot programs with other waste disposal companies. The total potential reportedly represents a fleet in excess of 50,000 vehicles.

For more information, contact: Peter Weichselbraun, Turbodyne Technologies Inc., Warner Center, 21700 Oxnard St., Ste.1550, Woodland, Calif. 95367. Phone toll-free: (800) 350-2031. Fax: (818) 593-2283. E-mail: [email protected]

New Office Jaakko Pory Consulting, New York, has opened offices in Atlanta and Montreal. In Atlanta, Steve Williams has been named executive vice president, David Null has been named senior vice president, and Jill Leff will oversee day-to-day administration and support services. In Montreal, Norman Lord has been named president.

People Philip P. Stecker has joined SCS Engineers, Long Beach, Calif., to provide solid waste engineering services to the company's U.S.- and Asia-based clients.

Terry Harbach has been named market development manager for ATI Global Inc., Delhi, Iowa.