Diesel vehicles produce 50 percent more nitrogen oxide than originally thought

From the “settled science” department of the UNIVERSITY OF YORK and possibly inspired by Volkswagen…

The research, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation and Environmental Health Analytics, LLC., in collaboration with scientists at the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI); University of Colorado; and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, examined 11 major vehicle markets representing more than 80% of new diesel vehicle sales in 2015.’

Of these markets, they found vehicles emitted 13.2 million tons of nitrogen oxide under real-world driving conditions, which is 4.6 million tons more than the 8.6 million tons expected from vehicles’ performance under official laboratory tests.

Chris Malley, from the SEI, University of York, said: “This study shows that excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions effect crop yields and a variety of human health issues. We estimate that implementing Next Generation standards could reduce crop production loss by 1-2% for Chinese wheat, Chinese maize, and Brazilian soy, and result in an additional four million tonnes of crop production globally.”

Nitrogen oxide is a key contributor to outdoor air pollution. Long-term exposure to these pollutants is linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, including disability and reduced life expectancy due to stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.

Josh Miller, researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), said: “Heavy-duty vehicles, such as commercial trucks and buses, were by far the largest contributor worldwide, accounting for 76% of the total excess gas emissions.

“Five of the 11 markets that we looked at, Brazil, China, the EU, India, and the US, produced 90% of that.

“For light-duty vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, and vans, the European Union produced nearly 70% of the excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions.”

The study estimates that excess diesel vehicle NOx emissions in 2015 were also linked to approximately 38,000 premature deaths worldwide – mostly in the European Union, China, and India.

Susan Anenberg, co-Founder of Environmental Health Analytics, LLC, said: “The consequences of excess diesel NOx emissions for public health are striking. In Europe, the ozone mortality burden each year would be 10% lower if diesel vehicle nitrogen oxide emissions were in line with certification limits.”

At a global level, the study estimates that the impact of all real-world diesel nitrogen oxide emissions will grow to 183,600 early deaths in 2040, unless something is done to reduce it. In some countries, implementing the most stringent standards – already in place elsewhere – could substantially improve the situation, according to the researchers.

###

The study was funded by the Hewlett Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, European Climate Foundation, Energy Foundation China, and the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied System Team.

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213 thoughts on “Diesel vehicles produce 50 percent more nitrogen oxide than originally thought

    • Well whoop de doo !

      When you burn air in a high compression high Temperature engine, you get to burn some of the nitrogen in the air as well. That’s why our USA gasoline cars are required to work properly on ordinary 87 octane gas, to force the compression ratios down.

      G

      • When I was much younger, I heard a discussion between two gear heads who were talking about injecting a small amount of water into the cylinder along with the gasoline. The idea was to cool reaction to help produce less NOx and at the same time the expanding water vapor would help recover some of the power lost from the cooler temperature.

        I can only presume that problems were found trying to implement this because I’ve never it in any on the road vehicle.

      • MarkW, in the 1990’s Caterpillar did extensive work on water injected diesel. In fact, the exaust w as cleaner. But there were major disadvntages also. In the end, the project was abandoned.

      • They used als water injection in the WWII Messerschmidt ME 109 to get a bit more power.

      • george e. smith May 15, 2017 at 9:08 am
        Well whoop de doo !

        When you burn air in a high compression high Temperature engine, you get to burn some of the nitrogen in the air as well. That’s why our USA gasoline cars are required to work properly on ordinary 87 octane gas, to force the compression ratios down.
        Actually George you’d rather have higher octane to get higher thermodynamic efficiency, the NOx in gasoline engines is removed by the catalytic converter. This is not so simple in a diesel because there’s a conflict between reducing NOx and particulates. US gasoline is lower octane no. than in the UK for instance because it optimizes the profit to be made from a barrel of oil (different product mix).

      • Well Mark, maybe you were just never young enough. Water injection was very common and you could buy the kits at any car part store. It can cool the fuel air mixture, or just the air before opening the intake valve which gets more air mass into the cylinder, which increases the power.

        I’m quite sure I had one on my car for a while; back when you were aloud to do your own mechanical things. It is a better way to increase the power with water, than adding the water to the fuel molecule by turning an alcane into an alcohol.

        G

      • And Phil left to their own ends, mechanics would rather do all kinds of things, in search of higher power.

        Do you have any peer reviewed papers that claim that the premium fuels sold at gas stations, produce more energy when used in a given engine, than the standard 87 octane. I’ve been told the heat of combustion of premium fuel is actually lower than regular gas.

        But if you use premium fuel in a fancy car, it will likely run for a greater distance before it starts knocking, thereby conning you into believing you can go further between tune ups.

        I can discern NO improvement whatsoever by using premium fuel.

        G

      • The standard 100 octane reference fuel is iso-octane. The standard zero octane fuel is n-Heptane.

        Heptane has one less Carbon than octane so it has a lower Hydrogen to Carbon ratio.

        Methane is 4:1 H/C and it slowly drops down to 2:1 for longer molecules.

        So methane should have a higher heat of combustion than Octane for example but it is too low an octane value to use in a standard IC engine.

        G

      • If you want to increase the HP in a engine, try injecting NOx it is not aloud in dragsters can more than double the power.

      • george e. smith May 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm
        And Phil left to their own ends, mechanics would rather do all kinds of things, in search of higher power.

        Do you have any peer reviewed papers that claim that the premium fuels sold at gas stations, produce more energy when used in a given engine, than the standard 87 octane. I’ve been told the heat of combustion of premium fuel is actually lower than regular gas.

        But if you use premium fuel in a fancy car, it will likely run for a greater distance before it starts knocking, thereby conning you into believing you can go further between tune ups.

        I can discern NO improvement whatsoever by using premium fuel.

        If you use a higher octane fuel then you will be able to change the timing and get a higher efficiency, the optimum is to set up to be just shy of ‘knocking’.

        george e. smith May 15, 2017 at 10:58 pm
        The standard 100 octane reference fuel is iso-octane. The standard zero octane fuel is n-Heptane.

        Straight chain hydrocarbons (n-xxxxx) auto-ignite at lower temperatures so they make great diesel fuels but poor spark ignition fuels, whereas branched hydrocarbons (iso-xxxxx) have a higher autoignition temperature so are poor diesel fuels but good spark ignition fuels. n-Octane has an octane number of -20!

        Heptane has one less Carbon than octane so it has a lower Hydrogen to Carbon ratio.

        Methane is 4:1 H/C and it slowly drops down to 2:1 for longer molecules.

        So methane should have a higher heat of combustion than Octane for example but it is too low an octane value to use in a standard IC engine.

        Methane is a great spark ignition fuel, it has an octane number of 120! Methane has a higher heat of combustion than octane or heptane but there is virtually no difference between those two.

        Ziiex Zeburz May 16, 2017 at 12:28 am
        If you want to increase the HP in a engine, try injecting NOx it is not aloud in dragsters can more than double the power.

        Not NOx but Nitrous oxide, N2O, it’s the equivalent of running with 33% O2 instead of 21%.

      • MarkW, Water injection works well in internal combution engines, it was used with The 1962 Oldsmobile F85 , the Corvair Spyder, Saab 99 Turbo, a version of the BMW M4 GTS and numerous fighter aircraft in WW-2.

      • Paul Jackson. (Replying to MarkW)

        MarkW, Water injection works well in internal combution engines, it was used with The 1962 Oldsmobile F85 , the Corvair Spyder, Saab 99 Turbo, a version of the BMW M4 GTS and numerous fighter aircraft in WW-2.

        Sort of. The water (in water injection) does NOT actually “burn” (cause more heat energy to be generated in the engine), but DOES cool the inlet air significantly. It ALSO adds significant “weight” (mass) to the incoming air mass, thus it causes significantly greater mass to be accelerated as it goes through the engine and is accellerated out the back of the gas turbine. Thus, in gas turbines in early jet-propelled aircraft and in the today’s newer gas turbine power plants running in very hot inlet air conditions, you get greater thrust or better fuel economy.

        In the first jet aircraft – most notably B-47 and B-52 – which were large enough to carry the extra weight of the pure water-injection systems at takeoff, compared to the much smaller fighter jets of the time, the added mass accellerated gave them enough thrust to take off faster and in less runway length. Both important to reduce the chances of getting caught on the ground by a surprise nuclear blast. The weight of the water was blown out through the engine unburned but blackened the engine exhaust significantly. Yet, after take-off, the water was gone, and the jet could fly at a reduced weight (compared to rocket-assisted take-offs which the B-47 needed as well.) The B-52’s and B-47 (and B-58 especially) needed re-fueling anyway pretty soon if they had a long mission under heavy loads.

        Gas turbines use it in the very hot weather for similar reasons: Cools inlet air, adds mass going through the exhaust blades. No extra burning efficiency, but better overall economy. And, a ground-mounted GT doesn’t care about the weight of the water carried aloft – unlike aircraft. It does increase compressor blade erosion and wear, and – if not perfectly treated to remove solids or dissolved chamicals – will coat the exhaust blades and burners quickly. THAT causes much, much future efficiency losses and maintenance costs, rebuild costs.

        So, water injection is NOT “free” energy. You have to pay for the ultra-pure water, the system itself, and (in an aircraft) the time and money to support the system, to fill the pure water tanks on the base, to keep them from freezing (on a runway in the plane in winter, in the tanks on the ground, in the trucks on the ground), the people to fill the tanks and the systems and the trucks, the maintenance on ALL the systems on the ground, on the base, on the planes, on the trucks, the tanks, the trucks, the aircraft systems, the weight of the airborne systems and empty tanks and the full tanks, the instruments, the wiring, the motors, the valves …

        Adds up!

        Internal combustion water injection? Can’t address it.

      • This from a rally car web site: Good background on internal combustion engine wate rinjectin:

        http://rallycars.com/technical-stuff/water-injection-a-technical-description/

        How a water injection system works:

        Water injection systems are predominantly useful in forced induction (turbocharged or supercharged), internal combustion engines. Only in extreme cases such as very high compression ratios, very low octane fuel or too much ignition advance can it benefit a normally aspirated engine. The system has been around for a long time since it was already used in some World War II aircraft engines.

        A water injection system works similarly to a fuel injection system with the difference that it injects water, or a mixture of water and alcohol, instead of fuel. Water injection is not to be confused with water spraying on the inlet air chargecooler’s surface, water spraying is much less efficient and far less sophisticated.
        A turbocharger essentially compresses the air going into the engine in order to force more air than it would be possible using the atmospheric pressure. More air into the engine means, automatically, that more fuel has to be injected in order to maintain the appropriate stoechiometric value of the air/fuel ratio (around 14:1). More air and fuel into the engine leads to more power. However by compressing the inlet air the turbocharger also heats it. Higher air temperatures lead to thinner air and therefore an altered stoechiometric ratio which results to richer mixtures. Over-heated air intake temperatures can cause detonation.
        Detonation, an effect also known as engine knock or pinging, occurs when the air/fuel mixture ignites prematurely or burns incorrectly. In normal engine operation the flame front travels from the spark plug across the cylinder in a predefined pattern. Peak chamber pressure occurs at around 12 degrees after TDC and the piston is pushed down the bore.

        In some cases and for reasons such as a poor mixture, too high engine or inlet temperatures, too low octane fuels, too much ignition advance, too much turbo boost, etc. the primary flame front initiated by the spark plug may be followed by a second flame front. The chamber pressure then rises too rapidly for piston movement to relieve it. The pressure and temperature become so great that all the mixture in the chamber explodes in an uncontrolled manner. If the force of that explosion is severe some of the engine’s moving parts (pistons, rods, valves, crank) can be destroyed.
        Detonation, in any engine, should always be avoided by either lowering inlet temperatures, using higher octane fuel, retarding ignition, hence lowering engine output, lowering engine blow-by (a situation in which high crankcase pressure sends oil fumes back inside the combustion chamber), running the engine a little richer than at the stoechiometric ratio, lowering the compression ratio and/or boost pressure, … .
        Water injection is used to lower in-cylinder temperatures and burn the air/fuel mixture more efficiently thus helping avoid detonation.

        In high pressure turbocharged engines the air/fuel mixture that enters the cylinders can, in some cases, explode prematurely (before the spark plug ignites) due to the extreme engine environment conditions. This situation is extremely destructive and results in severe engine damage (piston piercing). To avoid damaging the engine by detonation or pre-ignition phenomena, water is injected, along with fuel, in the combustion chambers in order to provide a water/air/fuel mixture which not only burns more efficiently and avoids detonation or pre-ignition but also provides additional inlet air cooling and, hence, denser air. The sole function of water injection is avoiding detonation.

        There are mainly three variations of water injection systems. They are dependent of the location of the water injectors. The first technique consists of injecting water at the entrance of the intake manifold. The second injects water at the exit pipe of the intercooler. The third technique injects water at the entry of the intercooler and is only used in competition vehicles. In this latter variation most of the in-cylinder detonation prevention is done by injecting additional fuel which is then used as coolant (i.e. is not burned) and runs the engine above the stoechiometric ratio (i.e. rich).

        And, then again, much of the above is repeated here:
        http://www.enginerunup.com/

        SO, which source copied the other’s words first?

      • Well Phil, as I said IANAC.

        And as far as I am concerned, YOU are as good as any “peer reviewed paper”.

        So I’ll take YOUR word for it, and thanx as always for the lessons.

        G

      • Actually, many American cars recommend premium fuel, and many engines have 10:1 compression ratios. Yes these engines will run on 87 octane, at a lower performance. Modern engines on average have higher compression ratios than old engines with carburetors (and minimal pollution controls) ever had. It is not compression ratio, but exhaust gas recirculation and precise fuel ratio control that keep NOX levels down in modern cars. Turbocharged gasoline engines like Ford’s Eco Boost can have much lower compression ratios, but that is because the incoming air is already pressurized. But even 10:1 is much lower than the typical 19:1 ratio of diesels. It is difficult to lower the compression ratio of a diesel and still get it to start reliably.

      • It seems like you just can’t ever get to the end of some stories.

        YES ! I know that some American sold cars DO RECOMMEND that you use premium fuel.

        And it is required (not by the selling manufacturer) that they operate properly on standard regular 87 octane gasoline; or in some parts of the west at high altitudes, the regular is 86 or 85 octane. Translation: the manufacturer can not REQUIRE you to use premium fuel in your USA street legal soup mobile.

        And if you keep on running them on premium (OK by me; have at it) you will believe their hype about going 50,000 miles without a tune up.

        I am all for free enterprise, and if you take pride in your whizz bang hot car on roads with 55-70 MPH speed limits to the tune of another 20-30 cents per gallon; pardon me, I’ll hold your hat while you go for it.

        PS: no matter what street legal in USA hot rod YOU are driving , just don’t even try your hand against a Tesla Model S. That is ONE thing that electric cars are good at.

        G

  1. One can argue that the gross amount of NOx produced is not relevant in regard to environmental/health effects, but the local concentration. Millions of tons of whatever sounds much scarier, though.

    • Tom H

      The local concentration is an ‘indicator’, not an effect. Only exposure to the indicator species can be modeled to be an attributed ’cause’. In other words the alarmism is worse than you thought.

      Just because something is emitted does not mean it remains concentrated,
      and just because there is a concentration does not mean anyone is exposed to it,
      and just because someone is exposed to it does not mean there is a negative health response,
      and just because there is a negative health response does not mean it leads to an earlier death than might otherwise have been the case.

      All this is based on Global Burden of Disease stuff, otherwise known as GBD and GoBble-Degook . It is models all the way down, folks – no one has NOx on their death certificate.

      Also, no one knows what the effect of future NOx pollution will be going forward, because no one knows what other exposures (or not) everyone will, on average, experience. GBD numbers are about past exposures and attributable causes of death for people born in or later than 1931.

      The fact that lab tests and real world tests show a huge difference is because the test method is (obviously) defective and/or unrepresentative. You can’t regulate what you do not measure. It is obvious the performance test in the lab is not representative of use ergo its usefulness is now in doubt. Performance tests should be contextual and reflect expected conditions of use.

      • Crispin in Waterloo – May 15, 2017 at 10:20 am

        All this is based on Global Burden of Disease stuff, otherwise known as GBD and GoBble-Degook . It is models all the way down, folks – no one has NOx on their death certificate.

        Yup, …… and no one has “cigarette smoke” on their death certificate …… even though it is blamed for millions n’ millions of deaths each and every year.

      • Well, let’s be frank. A few of the problems with your argument are obvious. These are produced by passenger cars. The emissions come in cities and near roads, where people routinely congregate and build businesses.

        The reactions to NOx formation are well known, and it’s a well-proven precursor to ozone (if nothing else because NOx reductions have worked so well at improving air quality). Furthermore, mobile sources are currently our primary source of NOx. 4 million tons is nothing to sneeze at. It’s almost half of Americas total annual NOx emissions (which are about 10 million tons annually). Yes, it’s spread out over the total of the world, but that’s a serious underestimation of one of the primary criteria pollutants.

        http://www.ems.psu.edu/~radovic/NOx_emissions_2017p.pdf

        Let’s not confuse healthy skepticism, like laughing at the lunatic specificity of their predicted negatives from this, with absolute nihilism. Pollution does cause damage to society and the environment, and this is not a small amount of pollution. The test methods have caused us to optimize our engines to pass a test and not function properly at actual driving conditions.

      • I totally get what you’re saying, Ben. Too many little diesels doing what gasoline engines do just fine. I can’t see paying more for the diesel option, more for maintenance and more for fuel (+ additives and DEF) unless you have to have the towing power. Diesels “stink” even with the current tech, but torque is torque and that’s what pulls big loads. I think the diesel pollution factor should be charged appropriately to the wind power industry because it relies so heavily upon diesel backup systems.

      • Diesel “fuel” is slightly more stable than gasoline. Therefore safer and less expensive to transport and store.

    • In urban areas, the NOx creates ground level ozone under the Sunlight. Ground level ozone has direct impact on human health,

      Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

      • Yet, across MOST of the Southeast United States, the measured “high ozone levels” are due to the NATURAL ozone and NOx precursors NATURALLY released by the tens of trillions of pine trees across the region. That “high level” of background NOx causes artificial gasoline restrictions to be forced down the throat of cities. People. And industries.

        But the trees are ignored. Like the natural background of higher radon and natural radiation in the higher Rocky Mountain and Sierra locations. They get higher radiation levels per year than (most) nuclear workers do. But nobody is forced to evacuate Colorado six months of the year..

    • ““This study shows that excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions effect crop yields and a variety of human health issues. ”

      There is no way that they can say this as there are so many other factors out there that affect crops and human health. Tai statement has the same veracity as the claims of second hand smoke—no study has every been able to tease the effects of second hand smoke from the multitudinous and more influential factors in the real world. The above guys simply say so, so it must be true. I would love to see the studies that this statement implies. Aging while I wait, I guess.

      • Tai statement has the same veracity as the claims of second hand smoke—

        I really have to laugh every time I read the “claim” being touted by the “fearmongering” anti-cigarette smoke advocates that …….. “cervical cancer is caused by secondhand cigarette smoke”.

        It should makes the females worried about who they should choose as a sexual partner, right?

        Smoking is a leading cause of cancer and death from cancer. It causes cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, cervix, colon, and rectum, as well as acute myeloid leukemia (1-3). … In addition, smoking causes inflammation and impairs immune function (1).
        https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/tobacco/cessation-fact-sheet

  2. I’m trying to see how I can tie-in this growing threat to the also growing productivity and production of Brazilian soy over these past years, all taking place at exactly the same time as Brazil was experiencing an economic boom which lead to exponential growth in the transport of goods across the nation, mostly in diesel-powered trucks.

    • NOx molecules are bad for us, but when dissolved in rain water they provide fixed nitrogen for use by plants. Perhaps I ought not to mention that lightning discharges also produce NOx molecules, since at high temperatures the endothermic reaction N2 + O2 = 2NO is shifted to the right (LeChatelier’s Principle), so they help nourish plants (someone might want to pass legislation banning lightning).

    • Even with NOx, there are points of diminishing returns where the cost of new controls exceeds the benefit from reduced pollution.

      • Of course the NOx is concentrated in urban areas and downwind. The urban concentrations are what brings natural emissions up to “pollution” levels. The goal of urbanizing population is concentrating pollution.

    • Is it a REAL pollutant only if it is produced by cars but not if it is produced by lightning? Or is it a REAL pollutant regardless how is it produced, naturally or anthropologically?

      • Is smoke not a real pollutant because it also occurs naturally? Pretty sure there are documented case of that pollutant killing people. A real pollutant such as lead occurs naturally and can be spread by man. Your argument is specious.
        The effects of this? meh

      • It’s a real pollutant either way.
        One is more preventable than the other.
        Radiation ya know is also naturally occurring.

      • Just because a pollutant is also produced by nature is not evidence that it isn’t a pollutant. Much of the
        NOx that is produced by lightning is washed out of the atmosphere by the accompanying rain.

      • Right MarkW, the local concentrations of any airborne substance are what defines noxious pollution. The solution to pollution is dilution.

    • Use LNG engines on all vehicles and the emissions will just be water vapour and CO2! This facility has been available for at least 40 years. Just think how much pollution and bad health could have been avoided if the Green’s fixation with CO2 had been laughed at and ignored – as it should have been!

      • I drive a natural gas-powered pickup in South America. Too bad they’re not available in the US.

      • LNG is completely impractical for the typical motor vehicle because its boiling point is -162°C — you can’t stop it from boiling and have to use it at a rate equal to the boil off. LPG (Liquified Propane Gas) on the other hand would work dandily. That’s what warehouse forklifts run on (Home Depot and other big-box stores use electric ones). But LPG has roughly 75% of the volumetric energy density of gasoline, and must be stored in pressure containers made to ASME standards capable of withstanding 250 psi, so small vehicles will end up with significantly less fuel capacity using LPG instead of gasoline.

      • So just what does Exon Mobil put in your regular gasoline that is left out of your natural gas ??

        I think they put carbon and hydrogen in my regular gas: well in California we also get to pay the oil company for some water in the form of oxygen in the gas as an alcohol. We got rid of the ether additives, and the lead additives too, so just that pesky vodka stuff they added.

        Well I suppose they have some ” Techroline ” in there. That’s like adding STP to your engine oil; or is it the gas tank you put it in. Well in either case they are just selling you STP or Techroline.

        That’s fine by me; I use ARCO myself. Dunno what additives they put in that.

        G

    • Would this be a good time to mention that nuclear reactors don’t produce any NOX?

  3. These theoretical deaths from pollutant X are as shaky as stats come. And 38,000 or 186,000/year globally it’s probably 10 or 12 or none in actuality. Just bureaucrats in public health nuts trying to justify their existence and make a buck

    • I suspect it is the same 38,000 unfortunate soles with existing health issues who will also die from CO, PM10, PM2.5, ozone, lead, PAH, POM, second hand smoke, etc. Still weighting for news of any pathologist listing ambient NOx exposure as a cause of death.

      • Linear-No threshold calculations of premature deaths are only slightly better than “we pulled the number out of our backsides” in reality.

      • Do you have any stating lead exposure as cause of death, besides bullets? If not, would you let kids play with lead?
        Get a better argument.

      • Lead (Pb) is definitely a cause of stupidity.

        The theoretical deaths are calculated from the attribution of multiple causes to premature deaths. Note that they do not consider (at all) post mature deaths, with all the exposures to all pollutants assigned a portion of the extended lifetime. Weird huh?

        The standard age is now 86. If someone dies after this age (which is the expected median) they are experiencing a ‘post-mature death’. To what should these post mature deaths be attributed? Why is it that anyone who dies naturally at 85 has to have their ‘missing year’ assigned to multiple exposures to pollutants?

        If someone dies at 96., what was the cause of their longevity? Was it exposure to the cleansing oxidation of ozone that killed pathogens? Was it exposure to sweet-smelling second hand smoke that created happiness and lowered the cortisol level a little each day?

        The only practical use of GBD numbers is the allocation of health expenditure on a macro scale. This business of turning estimations of global disease burdens into actual, countable deaths is hocus-pocus.

      • The theoretical deaths are calculated from ……

        They are calculated from …… just about anything that you can “think up” that can be remotely associated with a human activity that a portion of society doesn’t approve of.

        For instance, …… the “number of death” each year that are attributed to and/or blamed on “cigarette smoke”.

        Bet you don’t know where those government bureaucrats get those “death numbers” from, …. do you?

        Well “DUH”, ….. they are “calculated” via use of “fuzzy math” ……. and the “check-marks” on patient Records maintained by Doctors, Health Providers and Hospitals.

        It’s the “check-mark” ….. in the “YES” box …. in answer to the question of: “Do you or have you ever smoked cigarettes” ….. that those government bureaucrats are interested in.

        Like the Climate Modeling Computer Programs that were created and are used by government bureaucrats, ……. there is also Deaths Caused by Cigarette Smoke Modeling Computer Programs that were created and are used by government bureaucrats ….. to calculate a ratio or percentage of …… “deaths to tick-marks” per # of packs of yearly cigarette sales.

      • ironargonaut, when we were kids we played with lead foil all the time. Same thing with mercury. It was fun to watch it run off you hand. Fact is, icicles for Christmas trees were made of lead foil, Funny, but I don’t even recall people chewing on paint back then, but it must have happened, or it became a new delicacy at some point. Hate to tell you, bud, but the case against lead is as overblown as most cases of dire horrifics about everything else. Best I can figure, by making lead a horrible thing, we were able to spend far more for the things that replaced it. Of course, the battery industry certainly benefitted by making lead a bad boy since that dropped the price of lead, but didn’t drop the price of lead/acid batteries. A lot of horror stories really have a financial driver, not a health driver.

      • Tom O, don’t forget about all the fighting, arguing, banning, unbanning, and more Laws passed, rescinded, proposed, etc., ……. for prohibiting/permitting the sale and or use of lead “shot” for shotgun shells, lead fishing sinkers, etc., etc. And it has been on-going now, for what, almost 30 years.

      • There are thousands of pounds of metallic lead sitting on the bottom of San Francisco Bay, and also out in Monterey Bay and other NC coastal waters.

        It comes in 2 pound chunks that get dropped automatically, when a salmon grabs your baited hook, or spoon.

        I’m not sure if they outlawed that or no yet. I took care of it, by adding a second reel to my salmon pole with a strong thin line that tied firmly to the lead ball so that when the salmon ate the lure and tripped the dropper, my 2# ball was safely hanging on its own line to be retrieved at will while I played the salmon on a free line.

        G

    • No it’s basic observational science.
      Ya know smoking kills too.
      I smoke. I choose to.
      Other folks don’t like that I pollute their air.
      The science on that is shaky but..
      By blowing my smoke in their air I expose them to a risk
      However small or uncertain that they may not want to take.

      You might drink urine. It’s harmless. But that doesn’t imply you have the right to pee in the pool or my drinking water.

      • Second hand smoke also stinks & is easily absorbed by clothing material, which then also stink.

        It’s somewhat like playing with your poop in public.

      • Don’t be ridiculous Mark. There’s lots that indicate that secondhand smoke is a health hazard. There’s just not much in the way of hard proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

      • I know there are people who simply think cigarettes just don’t kill quickly enough; like before they get to breeding age. Well there are some.

        To each his own.

        G

  4. This sounds like another threat which should be treated with suspicion. Does anyone know what the residence time for NOx is? And whether a LNT model is appropriate for things like crop yields?

      • The key point is, as ChrisW notes below. Real world measurements of NOx are declining already.

      • I suspect that ground-level ozone has a very short life – it’s quite reactive, isn’t it?

        What’s really missing from these continual scares is an appreciation of what pollutants a typical body comes into contact with throughout the course of an average day, and what defences the body has against them…

      • And in a twinkling of an eye, ground level ozone can become ground level O2. You just have to look cross-eyed at it.

        G

      • Steven,

        Ozone is good or bad depending upon its altitude. High up, it’s probably essential for multicellular life on land. We can thank Precambrian cyanobacteria for the evolution of us terrestrial creatures.

      • It is short lived yes, however as a kid groing up near LA I remember having to stay indoor because the smog was so bad that it hurt to breath.

      • Ozone is like a steak knife.
        Used as appropriate, each is quite useful.
        Neither should be ingested or tested on body parts.

      • The biggest issue is the sheer magnitude of this underestimation. America in total only emits 10 Mton annually. You can’t get NOx reductions on the Megaton scale for any cost anymore. If something like this was hiding under our noses, we might have a significant, easy reduction just by retuning engines.

      • Well high altitude Ozone is just the evidence that Oxygen is doing its job at absorbing high energy UV photons to make atomic oxygen, which quickly makes Ozone as a waste product, indicating a job well done.

        And just for good measure, the solar radiation can also destroy the Ozone, even in the visible spectral range. Yes if it wasn’t for the Oxygen all the way up, we wouldn’t have any O or O3.
        I think the sun can destroy low level Ozone too.

        G

    • I’ll bet they never considered the hormetic effects either.

      The biochemical mechanisms by which hormesis works are not well understood. It is conjectured that low doses of toxins or other stressors might activate the repair mechanisms of the body. The repair process fixes not only the damage caused by the toxin, but also other low-level damage that might have accumulated before without having triggered the repair mechanism.

  5. What were the test conditions, the testing equipment and what were the controls? What was the sample size? What was the time-frame for the tests? Or is this just another of the watermelon’s “estimates” studies, ie Wild Ass Guess type of propaganda? The list of funding and “participation” organizations looks rather suspect to me.
    SHOW ME THE DATA…….. or it’s another BS bogus “study”.

      • Not fair to single out VW. All the manufacturers’ products failed because they were all cheating in one way or another, and/or the test is not meaningful. Both apply. One a couple of vehicles tested by The Guardian passed in the real world. I think their testing was unbiased.

      • Crispin

        Where have you read that manufactures other than VW & corporate siblings were cheating?

        BTW If you define cheating s “results different than real world(?) driving, guess there are 2 ways to cheat:

        1) “VW” method
        2) “follow the government protocol” method

      • I believe the point of the study was that real world driving conditions are not similar enough to the “tests” for the tests to be valid.

      • What I think he means, the environmentals would prefer to see all combustion type engines banned. To produce Diesel, oil must be extracted, just like petrol, so it is inherently ‘bad’. Not suggesting NOx is a good thing but this study has all the earmarks of CO2 propaganda with worst case projections – death and destruction. Life expectancy in general is going up but we’re all going to die nonetheless. If there is ever a day when all cars run on Hydrogen, there will be studies stating how bad this is, ice covered roads, run off into water sheds and of course copious amounts of energy to make H2 in the first place (unless from solar panels of course). Even with all these death-machines running around, my recent trip to Germany, I did not notice a thing, very clean. When the “International Council on Clean Transportation” tells you someday that cars are ‘clean’, I would be very worried pigs have learned to fly.

    • 1950: a little girl runs crying to a Grandma in a city park: Grandma, I got stung by stinging nettles. Grandma: Child, the nature is wise, let’s find a plantain plant and treat your pain.

      2017: a little girl runs crying to a Grandma in a city park: Grandma, I got stung by stinging nettles. Grandma: Let’s sue the city.

    • Curious G

      “Let’s ban diesels, oil, coal, and fracking.”

      Stir fry cooking produces huge clouds of organic PM2.5 particles – far in excess of the WHO’s somewhat questionable ‘guidelines’.

      We would have to ban high temperature cooking to reduce exposure much. Maybe some PM2.5 is good for you – after all women do most of the cooking and usually live longer than men. WUWT?

      • Not necessarily true. For example, in some places like India, cooking can be down right dangerous; even fatal . Probably bad stove design.

        G

  6. Have we heard of farmers noting a downturn in yield blamed on this?
    From some quick research, at least NO appears to get fixed into soil, and is beneficial to some plants, I would also assume “nitrogen fixers” also use these gasses, but didn’t really see that.

    • Clearly they were making a nod to crop yields when they said ” emissions effect crop yields “. If they were uncertain of the effect they would have said “affect crop yields” but to effect crop yields means to cause crop yields- definitely a good thing.

      • Exactly. Plants need CO2 as a source of carbon. They also need a source of nitrogen. But plants cannot use atmospheric N2 because is so non reactive (that is what nitrogen means, does not generates anything, as opposed to oxygen, which generates oxides.)

        So, apart form fabaceae (the beans family) which have nodules in their roots containing N2 fixing bacteriae, plants have to take nitrogen containing molecules from the environment, to produce aminoacids. One of the sources is NOx produced by lightning during storms, as it is or modified by bacteria, I can´t remember the exact pathway.

        Very often that source of nitrogen is not enough so farmers add other sources of nitrogen (and phosphorus) to their crops, organic fertilizers (BS).

        Organic fertilizers have a problem, they are a source of transmission of certain pathogens; bacteria and parasites. So we invented synthetic fertilizers such as ammonium phosphates.

  7. Nitrogen oxide; Which one(s) are they talking about? From Wiki:
    Nitrogen oxide
    Nitrogen oxide may refer to a binary compound of oxygen and nitrogen, or a mixture of such compounds: Nitric oxide, also known as nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen oxide Nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxide Nitrous oxide, nitrogen oxide Nitrosylazide, nitrogen oxide Dinitrogen trioxide, nitrogen oxide Dinitrogen tetroxide, nitrogen oxide Dinitrogen pentoxide, nitrogen oxide Trinitramide, nitrogen oxide
    Plus the unstable radicals.
    Without more specificity, I think Craig@8:46am nailed it is as a “BS bogus study.”

    • It’s NOx. The X is from algebra, not chemistry. Also called “Nitrogen Oxides” plural. This is a mix of NO, NO2, and N2O. They are all created in a variable mix by all combustion, albeit to various degrees. They are treated as a single unit for emissions purposes. NOx is one of the primary criteria pollutants since it reacts with Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) in the atmosphere.

      Seriously, don’t comment on something until you know something first. This is really basic from an environmental side.

      • Nitrogen oxide is a key contributor to outdoor air pollution. ” This is a quote, so I wondered which one(s) they were talking about, so I could look into their fancied effects, which they do not mention, just vagaries wrt being bad.

      • You didn’t mention that the source of that nitrogen in those oxides, is the 79% component of the atmosphere. ARCO doesn’t put any nitrogen in their gasoline, but my car still makes NOx.

        G

  8. Hewlett Foundation, ClimateWorks Foundation, European Climate Foundation, Energy Foundation China, and the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied System Team

    say Cholera in Yemen is dismissiable when there’s maybe

    38,000 premature deaths annually caused by NOX.

      • You live because nothing has managed to kill you yet.

        A true “premature” death would require killing something before it started living. An impossibility.

      • Thanks Sheri for confirmation. Fifty per cent of all people die post maturely, by definition. We should learn from these post mature deaths as those people were also exposed to the same environment as the premature cohort.

    • “The study estimates that excess diesel vehicle NOx emissions in 2015 were also linked to approximately 38,000 premature deaths worldwide…” and that’s not nearly enough.
      —————-
      Whenever I see statements from the Green press talking about premature deaths, my mind adds that italicized extension, as indicative of what the pronouncement really means.
      There is a considerable body of quotes from the Greens and their fellow travelers, which shows that their largest agenda (besides self- enrichment,) may be the wholesale and drastic reduction of human populations, by whatever means.
      As just one example, witness the recent statements from noted “feminist” Gloria Steinem, in which she declared that the greatest cause of climate change is the fact that women have been having children, instead of aborting them*.
      *paraphrased

      • I think you meant: people dying in war, die because they are killed, not because of statistics.

        However, accounting for the dead is another story. Until fairly recently, the USSR claimed 22M WWII war dead (vs about 7.8M German). Now days, Putin claims 42M USSR war dead. Somebody’s got some serious ‘splaining to do.

        Part of the explanation might be Stalin’s reluctance to admit he was so incompetent as a war leader that 42M USSR citizens died helping kill 7.8M Germans (a lot of whom were killed in other theaters). Russia, then or now, is not exactly a paragon of statistical accuracy.

      • Javert,

        I didn’t know that Putin had accepted the new estimate of 42 million Soviet Great Patriotic War dead, ie about 19 million soldiers and 23 million civilians. Dunno if that includes the Winter War with Finland and 1939 invasion of Poland or not, nor the postwar campaign against Ukrainian rebels.

        http://russialist.org/a-message-to-putin-from-42-million-dead-the-soviet-unions-world-war-ii-losses-may-far-exceed-the-official-count/

        The source for that figure appears to be “legislator Nikolai Zemtsov, who was one of the (Immortal Regiment) movement’s early organizers and one of the strongest officialization advocates, delivered a somewhat unexpected contribution.

        “In a report to the hearing, Zemtsov said that according to data declassified in the post-Soviet years, 41.979 million Soviet citizens died in World War II.”

      • Javert,

        Death estimates on the Eastern Front are all over the place, and often subject to political influences.

        Millions of civilians were killed collaterally or murdered on both sides, as were PoWs. Even the lowest estimates are horrific. But it’s not as if 42 million Soviet subjects died killing eight million invading German soldiers. Germany had allies, as did the USSR. Millions of the Soviet dead were innocent civilians, to include millions of Jews and other groups massacred in genocidal campaigns.

        Any fair accounting would include those captured soldiers and enslaved civilians who died in the USSR after the war.

        The best German military loss estimates come from Rüdiger Overmans in 2000. His team found that about 5.3 million German troops died in the war, whether KIA, died of wounds, in captivity or permanently missing, including not just Wehrmacht, but Waffen SS, Austrians, conscripted ethnic Germans, Volkssturm, and other paramilitary forces, but not prisoners held by the Western Allies.

        His rough estimate is that about four million died on the Eastern Front and one million in the West.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_casualties_in_World_War_II#Das_Heer_1933.E2.80.931945_by_Burkhart_M.C3.BCller-Hillebrand

        Estimates of German/Austrian/ethnic German civilian deaths present even more problems. Perhaps the chief uncertainty is how many civilians died during the expulsion of Germans from Poland and the East, or in Soviet slave labor camps after the war. The higher range from those causes alone is over 2.5 million. Combine that with Western Allied air raids, N@zi murders of Jews, Gypsies, Communists, the disabled and other unwanted Reich citizens during the war and civilian mortality starts to approach the military deaths.

      • We are all statistics in waiting.

        So far I’ve managed to remain at large as a fugitive from the law of averages. Not for want of trying to get caught.

  9. Is this what you call fake news?

    In the UK we are being bludgeoned and pulverised by the media with the statement “UK air pollution causes 40,000 deaths each year” then after some time the word “premature” was inserted. Then on the 18th of January Andrew Neil on Sunday Politics interviewed the statistician who explained where the 40k deaths came from which was a computer driven statistical survey of large towns and cities in America which compared overall death rates with levels of air pollution which appeared to show that people living in towns and cities with higher levels of air pollution had higher rates of death. Simplistic because there was no correlation made with employment, industry, general health, income, housing, live style, population and ethnicity. And from this study came the extrapolation of 40,000 premature deaths.

    Now from the article above we get the number of 38,000 which is not just the UK but China, EU and India. Earlier this year the WHO said 6.5 million people across the planet were dying from air pollution without mentioning that this is also the number reputed to die from toxic emissions caused by having to eat inside over dried animal [dung] because the WHO, World Bank and Obama [are] using their influence to stop 1.3 billion poverty stricken people from having access to coal or gas fired generation because Co2 is about to destroy the planet.

    Andrew Neil also interviewed Prof Tony Frew who said that the UK has dramatically reduced its nox and particulate levels and that we are now very close to the Gothenburg standard, it has also been mentioned that bad levels of air pollution in the UK only exist for maybe 11 days of the year because of huge volumes of air pollution blowing across the UK from the EU, Germany burns of lot of coal and most EU cars are diesel.

    Prof Frew also explained contrary to what Greenpeace and John Sauven want us to believe that the world premature [deaths] should be related to individuals who may already be suffering from multiple ailments who might die 30 days earlier than would otherwise be the case. As there is no way you can determined whether some has died 30 days or 30 months earlier than they should this becomes just one more war of statistics.

    Greenpeace said that living in London was the equivalent of smoking 15 fags a day which would according to Prof Frew take ten years off of your life but in fact it is more like 2 fags a day which might end your life 9 months early. Thing is Prof Frew said that even if we took all road traffic off of the roads it would only reduce air pollution by just 2ug/m3 or almost nothing.

    This is backed up by this:
    Many of the so-called experts are only interested in self-promotion and winning their next research grant, and I think you have hit the nail on the head as regards the symbiosis they have with the media that is only interested in a good “bad news scare stories”!
    Apart from not checking on the facts they ignore:
    • Particles from tyres/road wear brake linings which will not be reduced by banning diesel engines.
    • Natural NOx produced by grassland and microbes.
    • NOx produced the photocatalytic action of urban grime
    • NOx produced by central heating (condensing boilers especially)
    • The very high concentrations of iron oxide in underground stations due to brake/track wear ( that is what causes that characteristic “tube smell”)
    • The static air conditions we had a few times this winter with stagnant polluted air from the continent drifting across.
    • Indoor particulates and VOCs from upholstery, paint etc…
    All in all the media has a lot to answer for and it is sad to see some normally rational people sucked in by their antics!

    With best wishes
    Pete

    Professor Peter J Dobson OBE
    The Queen’s College,
    Oxford OX1 4AW
    and this:
    Whilst there, I learned of a very interesting bit of research carried out at the end of WW2. Lord Penney (Rector of Imperial College at the time) commissioned some work by my first boss to check to see that the nitrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere would not all be combined by the heat of an atomic bomb. They proved it could not be as catastrophic as feared, but it is part of the reason for the NOx problem….the modern diesel and even modern petrol engines do run much hotter and hence a small amount of the gases in the air combines to form the nitrogen oxides.
    Needless to say I am going to fight the media and bad scientist/medics rather robustly.

    Diesel engines are not the biggest cause of air pollution they are just another convenient political target like Co2 where the science is inverted and exaggerated because to environmentalists like Client Earth – lawyers not scientists – the ends always justify the means.

    Just to get away from environmentalists and environmentalism I might just hook up a diesel to my letter box because it couldn’t be worse.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/04/the-epas-unethical-pm2-5-air-pollution-experiments/
    Which actually supports what Prof Frew said to Andrew Neil basically if you are already on your way out of the door current levels of air pollution might assist your progress but at worst by just 30 days but if your fed up to the back teeth with WWF asking you to adopt an Amur Leopard when you know that cash will be spent on demonising Co2 air pollution could be a blessing.

  10. Link Link Link!

    Further, no one, not a single person in the entire world, has died from NOx emitted by transportation engines — not even those committing suicide by auto-exhaust (these die from CO, cardon monoxide).

    The epidemiological fantasies begin to get boring after a while. They simply are not valid. “Excess deaths” and “early deaths” are statistical inventions that have no actuality — reducing NOx will not “save lives” or “prevent X early deaths”. Reducing NOx emission will also not increase crop yields.

    Reducing NOx emissions will clean up the air in places suffering inversion ;layers etc that lead to smog conditions, and is worth doing for its own sake.

    • No they are not. you will get random pre-ignition from those huge electro-magnetic megawatt surges, and the engine may fire, even with no fuel in it. I have seen traces on an oscilloscope screen, even when the instrument was not turned on or even plugged into the power.
      Yes it was some HAM clown playing around with a toy Yagi antenna and a pulse generator.

      g

      • Not sure how you would get pre-ignition in a classical compression ignition (diesel) engine especially if it has no fuel in it.

        Modern diesels have electronic controls which could be fried but that would kill the engine. I think. YMMV.

      • George,

        All diesel vehicles are less vulnerable than comparable gas vehicles, especially than recent models so reliant upon solid state circuitry.

        As with gas vehicles, older diesels are less vulnerable than more recent designs.

        But any vehicle can be protected while not running by being kept in a properly constructed metal garage, which acts as a Faraday cage.

        I never saw your admission that you were incorrect in that thermonuclear weapons do indeed contain depleted uranium jackets, contrary to your assertion.

      • Well roving, the sole purpose of the fuel is to provide waste heat to raise the Temperature and pressure of the air that is ingested into the engine. You could supply that energy in the form of a laser pulse; but it would have to be at wavelengths for which that air was nicely opaque and strongly absorbing.

        Well EMP would do that heating for you; but maybe only for one single down stroke, before the engine block melts. Well EMP can melt a one hundred ton transformer that takes a year to build in communist red China. so it can surely melt your diesel engine.

        G

      • Well that depends on what your definition of ” if ” is . I was taught that it also involves combustion chemistry, which is NOT exactly mechanical. And I would think that melting the crankshaft bearings to the crankshaft pins would be purely mechanical and stop it from running.

        So some contrary evidence I think .

        g

  11. From the article …
    But this is not just a defeat device problem. Both light-duty and heavy-duty diesel vehicles emit more NOx in on-road driving conditions than during laboratory certification testing, for reasons that may range from details of the engine calibration to equipment failure, inadequate maintenance, tampering by vehicle owners, the deliberate use of defeat devices, or simply deficient certification test procedures.

    While “laboratory certification testing” methods are designed to be related to “on-road driving conditions” they are actually a method for regulating emissions and for comparing one vehicle’s emissions to another not predict real world emissions. So many people in the real world understand this that YMMV is a popular (and now archaic) slang expression.

  12. “real-world driving conditions”
    That’s what happens when multi-billion dollar agencies like EPA bother to look or pay an outside engineering consultant to do it. The same goes for models vs. reality.

  13. “This study shows that excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions effect crop yields ….”

    So the dramatic global rise in crop yields is due to people jumping ahead on this issue even before the research came out. I think not.

  14. More junk science. Even after emitting more NOx in real world conditions, the regulations are so strict and biased against diesel that it makes no difference. That’s because NOx is rarely (almost never) the limiting factor in ground level ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are. Recent studies have even found an inverse relationship between NOx and ground ozone.
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-24478-5_56

  15. Pedantic alert!

    Chris Malley, from the SEI, University of York, said: “This study shows that excess diesel nitrogen oxide emissions effect crop yields and a variety of human health issues…”

    Water and fertilizer, planting and tilling effect crops while pollution affects crops.

    • Actually, the statement went on to say that crop yields are projected to increase, due to greater diesel NOx emissions, so effect may actually have been correct.

      note to self: WTH am I doing, discussing this…

  16. The dose makes the poison. It’s as true today as it was when Paracelsus said it over 500 years ago…except in modern environmentalism. In the new religion of environmentalism, poison is everywhere, and no matter what the dose, some people are dying from it. Therefore, no dose is acceptable.

    In actuality, it is likely that no one has died from NOx inhalation, unless it was some kind of industrial accident. NOx is likely one of hundreds or even thousands of confounding factors that may have contributed to an individuals death. In the absence of NOx, the individual would still have died, but perhaps a little later. It is even possible they would have died a little sooner. There is no way of knowing.

    I think we can all agree that NOx is a pollutant, and keeping it as low as possible is a worthwhile goal, but it is extremely misleading to attribute deaths to it. I guess it is effective propaganda, but it is scientifically wrong.

    If this type of ‘reasoning’ is to be allowed, then we must add up the lives saved by the work done by all diesel powered vehicles, including emergency vehicles and trucks transporting food and other vital goods, for comparison. My computer model indicates that 18,785,243 lives were saved by the work of these vehicles. (sarc…sort of).

  17. Rounding errors

    Country Population (millions) Premature Deaths
    Mexico 123 907
    China 1,373 31,397
    EU 515 28,456
    India 1,266 26,739
    Russia 142 3,380
    US 324 2,982

    I think it was in elementary school that I learned about “significant digits.” It’s interesting that the study authors were able to make their calculations to five digits.

    The Nature article is here …
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature22086.html

    Pay walled of course.

    • And yet I walk to a job site in Mexico next to an open-air sewer (yes, it DOES smell like an open-air sewer), watching the open-air street vender a few yards away cooking their open-air barbecue lunches with chicken and fresh vegetables on open-air grills, to later serve them on open-air tables using open-air dishes not washed at all since the last meal the previous night.
      927 premature deaths in Mexico?
      From NOx??????

  18. Muddled and confusing (deliberately so) so as to cause maximum panic and shock.

    Where is there any actual balance on this NOx thing?
    See this:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/how-to-grow/diesel-cars-fuel-growth-of-city-trees/

    There is also a very old article which I’ve now lost but it mentioned the bemusement of Scandinavian foresters about the panic and subsequent expense the UK got into about ‘acid rain’ Supposedly NOx and SO2 were blowing over the North Sea, making the rain into nitric & sulphurous/sulphuric acids and killing their forests.
    Total BS. The trees loved it, as per the above article.
    And since the UK started digging epic holes to quarry limestone, using 10% of the power from UK coal plants and creating mountains of gypsum that nobody wants, Scandinavian trees are growing at 75% of the rate they were. It could not get any crazier and yet again we witness another very expensive panic response to an ill conceived and poorly researched (fake) problem.
    Just like CO2

    Now where NOx reacts to produce ozone, then there may be some of the problems with plant growth and folks’ breathing.
    But how to get any better detail than the estimates from computer models that are simply reflections of the closed half asleep minds of hapless machine’s grant & publicity seeking programmers- convinced of themselves that they ‘care’
    Of course an epic round of tax rises and a bodge fix are the only inevitable outcomes.
    Turkeys vote for Christmas yet again..

  19. In the US, the number of deaths attributable to “on-road diesel vehicle NOX emissions, 2015 was 2,982. For comparison …

    Number of deaths for leading causes of death: [2014]
    Heart disease: 614,348
    Cancer: 591,699
    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 147,101
    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 136,053
    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 133,103
    Alzheimer’s disease: 93,541
    Diabetes: 76,488
    Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,227
    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 48,146
    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 42,773

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

    And remember, the above are actual counts, the NOX numbers are modeled.

    • When I was young, we did not have seat belts or a polio vaccine.

      Now the young are much more likely to die of cancer or heart disease.

      I love the misuse of statistics. Coal is the largest man made source mercury but only because all the larger sources were reduced by regulations.

      The point is that you can only mitigate real problems.

  20. No idea of why their real world tests differed to such an extent from lab tests? Doesn’t this suggest that
    every pollutant emission should be checked in the realwrold? Assuming these real world tests are right and the lab tests wrong. Replication, I say, replication is in order.

  21. Forget NOX, go after the pollen …

    When the researchers looked at the number and rate of deaths and the amount of Poacae, a common pollen found in the Netherlands, they found that the days with the highest pollen counts were associated with an increase of about 6% in death from heart disease, 15% in death from COPD, and 17% in death from pneumonia.
    http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20000427/high-pollen-linked-death#1

    Poaceae or Gramineae is a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants known as grasses. Poaceae includes the cereal grasses, bamboos and the grasses of natural grassland and cultivated lawns (turf) and pasture.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poaceae

  22. Is NOx a problem? Yes, because mixed with VOCs and sunlight produces ground level ozone. Do diesel veicles emit more than tested? Yes, because tests were cheated in the US and rigged in the EU. Are the 36000 premature deaths real because of this? Not at all. The world is a complicated place and London is not LA.
    Climateworks Foundation Board headed by Christina Figueres. Main web page says mission is to engage philanthropy to solve the climate crisis. What climate crisis? Which makes all of these crop yield and mortality estimates suspect.

  23. Imprecision of language is steadily worsening. NOx ” affects” crop production. Err.. which way? NOx could be a fertilizer or a poison. Health: the few thousand deaths when you are talking pops like China, EU, Brazil… Hey maybe people laugh themselves to death. I’ve seen deliberate hits of nitrous in New Orleans streets that would be high concentration. Also people getting their teeth fixed or small surgeries get dosed up. I think particulates from diesel may be killing more.

  24. Excerpted from the above commentary on diesel engine exhaust emissions:

    Nitrogen oxide is a key contributor to outdoor air pollution. Long-term exposure to these pollutants is linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, including disability and reduced life expectancy due to stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.

    The age(s) of the person(s) that are being exposed to the afore noted diesel engine exhausts containing Nitrogen oxide(s) …… is/are surely more important regarding “adverse health outcomes” than is the number of years required to be defined as “long-term exposure”

    YUP, it’s the age of the person being forcibly exposed to the dastardly effects of inhaling diesel engine exhausts that should be of primary importance, …… but it is not.

    Diesel Particulate Matter and Health

    In 1998, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) identified DPM as a toxic air contaminant based on published evidence of a relationship between diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer and other adverse health effects. In 2012, additional studies on the cancer-causing potential of diesel exhaust published since ARB’s determination led the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, a division of the World Health Organization) to list diesel engine exhaust as “carcinogenic to humans”. This determination is based primarily on evidence from occupational studies that show a link between exposure to DPM and lung cancer induction, as well as death from lung cancer.

    Because it is part of PM2.5,DPM also contributes to the same non-cancer health effects as PM2.5 exposure. These effects include premature death, hospitalizations and emergency department visits for exacerbated chronic heart and lung disease, including asthma, increased respiratory symptoms, and decreased lung function in children. Several studies suggest that exposure to DPM may also facilitate development of new allergies. Those most vulnerable to non-cancer health effects are children whose lungs are still developing and the elderly who often have chronic health problems.

    Excerpted from: https://www.arb.ca.gov/research/diesel/diesel-health.htm

    YUP, local, state and the federal government mandates “NO cigarette smoke” around, on or near Public School property and/or near any of the school children because they claim “cigarette smoke” is dastardly dangerous to all those young children, adolescents and teenagers ……. while at the same time, …… said local, state and the federal government mandates that all school children be subjected to breathing “scads of diesel exhaust” because the children are transported to and from school by big ole diesel powered school busses.

    Is anyone really concerned about school children inhaling those dastardly dangerous diesel exhaust fumes? Other than me and maybe a couple others, ……. I don’t think so.

  25. > …examined 11 major vehicle markets representing more than 80% of new diesel vehicle sales in 2015.’

    Of these markets, they found vehicles emitted 13.2 million tons of nitrogen oxide under real-world driving conditions, which is 4.6 million tons more than the 8.6 million tons expected from vehicles’ performance under official laboratory tests.

    Excuse me? They -measured- the diesel emissions? In 11 different parts of the world? And got 2 digit accuracy? Clearly what they say they did (found) and what they really did (model) are not the same thing. They obviously plugged in a multiplier based on the VW differences that were measured and extrapolated.

    • Also loud and smelly, but hard to have everything.

      Giant dually diesel pickups have become de rigeur in the culture of my birth. Some barrel racers now tow their gooseneck homes and barns on wheels with cap-over trucks.

    • Stalin ordered the development of a diesel aircraft engine. This hare-brained scheme reaped enormous benefits, when the experimental, V-12 aluminum diesel engine was adapted to power the war-winning T-34 medium tank.

      • Diesel aircraft engines have actually been used (e. g. Jumo 205 and 207), though somewhat heavy they had excellent fuel economy but did not take kindly to large and sudden changes in power output so were not successful in combat aircraft.

        And do you have any concrete information about the B-2 engine being intended for aircraft use? It was never ever used for anything but AFV:s (and and to power oil drills). There was a version with an supercharger borrowed from a Mikulin aircraft engine, but it was used in the KV-3 heavy tank).

      • A Soviet defector told me about Stalin and the diesel aircraft engine. I had no reason to doubt him.

        Stalin might have wanted to keep up with the Jumo 204, not knowing the limitations of diesel aircraft engines. Or he might have come up with the idea himself or from listening to engineers.

        It was never used in a production aircraft, since trials didn’t go well. As you say, in actual service it was only in AFV.

    • And yet those in power in the UK converted coal-fired power plants to burn wood pellets imported from the SE US.

      Demented.

  26. If Diesel fuel is so bad then its use should be banned world wide. If you as an individual believe that the use of fossil fuels is bad then stop making use of all good and services that involve the use of fossil fuels.
    After all, it is your money that keeps the fossil fuel companies in business.

  27. Being a Swede, and well acquainted with Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and their ‘science’ I suggest that anything sourced from there should be regarded as extremely dubious.

    • Diesels proliferated in Europe in recent years because the way the required miles per gallon was calculated was slanted toward diesels. (European manufacturers were relatively better at diesels.) In the US, electric-hybrids are used to by manufacturers meet MPG regulations.
      Of course, diesels have real cost advantages over gasoline engines in many applications.

      • When I was a kid, diesel was about half the cost of gasoline. With all the diesel cars on the road, it’s now about 50% more expensive.
        I suspect most of the advantage of better mileage is eaten up by the higher cost.

  28. I’m getting sick and tired of all the alarmist reports with virtual death estimates to create a realm of importance.

    In the mean time they are shutting down our economies with their BS.
    The time has come for a nice Toba like volcanic eruption or a nice astroid impact to show human kind is not in control and linear models are non existing on this planet.or the universe.

  29. By the way, did they send a copy of the report to the Diesel Brothers, they live and breathe diesel engines and I wonder how they will respond if they know the’re going to die prematurely of diesel emissions.

  30. Smoking is dangerous, especially if handling fuel or ammunition. Smoking in bed and children playing with their parents cigarette lighter is a common cause of fires.

    Association is not causation. You can not cause someone to get lung cancer. Between my parents, grandparents, the navy, and the work environment; I was over 40 before I was not surrounded by 2-pack smokers. My children were raised in in a non-smoking environment, which meant I needed a shower and a change of close before being around them.

    An important part of my job was to ensure accidents and work place environmental issues were insignificant.

    When you look at the statistics, smoking is not significant, second had smoke is really insignificant.

    Clearly, the largest risk factor is getting old. Since our modern world, helps us live longer; what do researchers do? Look for ‘links’ to ‘premature’ death.

    If you need a ‘study’ to tell you have a problem; You do not have a problem.

    For example, there was a ‘problem’ determining the allowable occupational exposure to plutonium in the US because of the lack of individuals exposed. Looking at soviet data, there appears to be an issue. In the USSR, you are a non-smoker if you smoke less than a pack a day.

    So set the limit at zero. No problem unless your job is setting limits.

    • Pu is arguably the most poisonous substance in the world, since, if you get even a tiny amount in your lungs, you will get lung cancer. OTOH, you can sprinkle it on ice cream, eat rapidly before the ice cream melts, and you’ll probably suffer no ill effects, as it takes time for the radiation to cause cancer.

      Consumption, OK, but not recommended. Inhalation, deadly.

      • Chimp is wrong. The toxicity of Pu is the same as nicotine. I can buy a cartoon at the grocery store, distill out the nicotine and poison Chimp based on the L/D 50. Chimp will go into convulsions and die. Of course a baseball bat is faster and easier.

        So how toxic is nicotine? Millions are addicted, yet when was the last time you saw a smoker go into convulsions.

        “it takes time for the radiation to cause cancer”

        Again you can not cause cancer. Radiation is a very small risk factor for cancer. There is radiation poisoning if you fission Pu. Based on the USSR, aka the evil empire, complete lack of industrial safety in its weapons plants, it is vodka and smoking that they need to worry about.

      • Pu is scattered all over parts of Japan right now from the reactor explosions at Fukushima.

        I read about some US nuclear scientist long ago who smeared Pu on his hand and then licked it off as a marketing gimmick to show how safe nuclear power is. He apparently lived to a ripe old age.

      • ” The toxicity of Pu is the same as nicotine. ”
        ..
        ..
        NOPE….
        ..
        Nicotine is metabolized, but Pu isn’t.

      • Retired Kit P: It sounds to me like you’re confusing the chemical toxicity of Pu (heavy metal) with its damaging ionizing effect in long term, close proximity to lung tissue.

      • I thought the ability of the body to absorb Pu depended on which oxide you were dealing with.
        And no, the explosion as Fukushima did not spread nuclear material over the Japanese country side.

      • The question regarded the initial explosion.
        The amount that has leaked out is minor and quickly diluted to meaninglessness in the ocean.
        What are the sources for your charts and I notice that there is no scale to tell what the colors mean.
        Just because you want to tell lies, does not obligate anyone to believe them.

      • Not that smoking isn’t bad. Lung cancer killed my aunt and smoking shortened the lives of my mom her other sister.

  31. NOx is produced by high combustion temperatures and the nitrogen in the fuel and air. Diesel engines ignite the fuel by the high temperature caused by high compression ratios. This is a “Doohh!” moment.

  32. These alarming stats flow from the “linear effect no threshold” paradigm. Reject the premise and the stats collapse.
    Perhaps there could be a Dilbert strip on this subject.

  33. The important conclusion for me seems to be that the laboratory test protocols fail to simulate real-world driving conditions. Which probably also means regulatory emission limits are only tenuously tethered to reality.

  34. Diesels are 25 to 30% more efficient than gasoline, which means less fuel consumption, for the same distance travelled. Also distillation is less complex than refinement, so it is cheaper to produce. It should cost less than gasoline, but is heavily taxed, and there is always supply and demand price movements.
    Then there is the expected lifetime of a diesel engine in comparison to a gasoline engine. In general 3x the running life before an overhaul is required.
    I have yet to see a convincing study that shows there are adverse health problems from NOx. And I have looked. There are many accusations, but like most of these “you need to be regulated” stories, there is not much actual data that supports the contention.
    Modern diesels burn so cleanly, there is no odor or smoke. If they want to regulate it in cities that have ozone problems, they could probably make a rational case for that. Although even that rests more on correlation than causation.
    Attacking the rest of us, is just another example of regulating for the sake bureaucratic restrictions, over what you will be allowed to do. I would place a large wager that more people die from the stress of preparing, and paying their taxes, than from exposure to NOx. If we want to save lives, lets start with reducing the tax burden on people, and you would find a statistically significant result from that.

  35. “… the impact of all real-world diesel nitrogen oxide emissions will grow to 183,600 early deaths in 2040 …”
    In a world of 8 billion people, 183K premature deaths kinda seem so small that I wonder if it is just a statistical artifact when qualifying for cause of death. This is like climate, human health is much more complicated than climate that it is so hard to qualify for causes. Diseases and trauma are easy to diagnose but air pollution?
    When a few smokers outlive non-smokers, you really wonder how researchers can make any real conclusions about human health.

    • Katie May 15, 2017 at 10:47 pm
      It’s important that we know what the x is in NOx – or more to the point what percentage of the NOx is nitrous oxide – which is a so called a greenhouse gas. Nitrous oxide (N2O) absorbs and emits infrared radiation (greenhouse gas) coming off the surface of the Earth.

      Nitrous oxide is not a component of NOx, which is only single N atom oxides.

      NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and NO (nitric oxide) do not – so they are not greenhouse gases generated from burning most fossil fuels except pure methane. And N2O (nitrous oxide) which is also released by commercial jets into the stratosphere is also an ozone depleting chemical.

      Actually both NO and NO2 do absorb IR.

  36. It’s important that we know what the x is in NOx – or more to the point what percentage of the NOx is nitrous oxide – which is a so called a greenhouse gas. Nitrous oxide (N2O) absorbs and emits infrared radiation (greenhouse gas) coming off the surface of the Earth.
    NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) and NO (nitric oxide) do not – so they are not greenhouse gases generated from burning most fossil fuels except pure methane. And N2O (nitrous oxide) which is also released by commercial jets into the stratosphere is also an ozone depleting chemical.
    this information has been around for decades. Admittedly I just read the extract – so??? what is the point??

  37. “Pu is scattered all over parts of Japan right now from the reactor explosions at Fukushima.”

    There were no reactor explosions and there have never been on LWRs.

    I was qualified by the navy to operate 6 reactors and certified 4 times on GE BWR reactors.

    I am an expert and not the least bit confused. Toxicity is something you look up in a table. And yes it does depend on the method of exposure.

    Concern about Pu is the result of fear mongering based on made up stuff. We do not expose people to Pu. On the other hand, millions intentionally expose themselves to nicotine. One of the adverse affects is that it is addictive.

  38. “You are correct MarkW, except for iodine and caesium.”

    Mark is correct, no excepts. Release of fission products occurred when the containment were intentionally vented after local populations were evacuated.

    As it turns out, the evacuations were not necessary but that is hindsight.

    No was hurt, even workers at the plant, by radiation.

    It is unlikely that you could intentionally hurt someone outside the fence with radiation from a LWR.

    Use a baseball bat if you want to hurt someone. How about irrational fear of baseball bats?

  39. There are a number of factual errors in many posts. Here are a few corrections:
    The U.S. Navy injected AID consisting of water, alcohol, and fish oil into recip aircraft engines well into the 1980’s. Cylinder knock occurs when octane is too low for a given cylinder compression pressure. Essentially, pockets of fuel/air ignight before they are ignited by the expanding flame-front.

    The U. S., Japan, and the EU are the main adheatents to Diesel Tier-four Final requirements limiting particulates and NOx.
    Ultra-low sulphur fuel and oil is required to inhibit fouling of particulate filters.

    NOx is reduced in a two-stage process: First, an exhaust gas return valve takes a regulated portion of exhaust and cools it prior to mixing it with clean intake air.

    The DPF, or similar wall flow device removes most particulates. The gas is next routed thrust a mixing chamber, where Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) converts the NOx to ammonia and N2.

    The Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) converts the reductant to CO2 and water.

    Tier-five regulations will be even more stringent and require DEF quality monitoring.

    It is wise to be skeptical of these studies, as the science is poor and the authors are likely motivated beyond altruism.

  40. sorry, if I did not make myself clear for any non chemists out there
    – x is oxygen – be it 2 atoms as in NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) or one atom of oxygen as in both nitrous oxide(N2O) and in nitric oxide (NO)
    – the only one of these 3 NOx’s that is a greenhouse gas is nitrous oxide(N2O) – which behaves as a double wammy as we chemists say – it also behaves as an ozone depleting chemical in the stratosphere.

  41. x is the number of oxygen atoms – that should be clearer – NOx is used as a collective term to note all 3 which are all produced from combusting coal or crude oil – be it petrol , diesel, jet fuel etc etc.

    not methane (CH4)

    and yes a well tuned carbureter (spell) in an old car should convert most NOx’s back to N2 (harmless) just as a catalytic converter is designed to do – the catalytic converter also converts the pollutant CO (carbon monoxide) back to yes you guessed it harmless CO2 – but this is the theory – usually transport vehicles that use some form of distilled crude oil (petroleum) and coal for electricity (modern coal burning power stations do a good job of preventing the release of NOx’s and SO2) or coal for heating (e.g. in fire places – very polluting) do not behave as a perfect system – modern engines still produce these nasties to some extent due to the extreme heat from their engines breaking the bonds of atmospheric N2 so as it is able to react with oxygen in the air to from any of or all 3 of NO’xs.

    • “modern engines still produce these nasties to some extent due to the extreme heat from their engines breaking the bonds of atmospheric N2 so as it is able to react with oxygen in the air to from any of or all 3 of NO’xs.”

      Exactly right. Exhaust gas is recirculated to the intake manifold to hold cylinder temps below 2370 deg. F to reduce NOx. Formation.

      Tests are likely run with clean Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). As the DPF fouls with ash, regeneration through elevated exhaust temps is initiated. Strategies include; late fuel injection, exhaust back pressure valves, intake restrictions, and dedicated fuel injection in the exhaust stream.

      The elevated temp requirement for regen has to increase NOx production. Thus, neither a test conducted with a virgin DPF, nor one conducted during regen provides an accurate NOx emission tally.

  42. Lets hear from anyone that actually drives a diesel commercial vehicle for their employment, (listens to crickets cheeping).

    Ok. I drive a day cab Diesel commercial vehicle as part of my employment. I am part of the small percentage of Commercial Drivers License , Class A, holders that have bachelor degrees and worked in IT. My bachelor degree is in Electronics Engineering Technology and was earned in 1977.

    All of our Trucks use the DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) system. The opinion of the majority of truck drivers I have spoken to is that DEF, while reducing pollution drastically, is a nuisance and not worth the trouble.

    From the management and safety side of truck driving, their comment is that DEF produces cleaner air at its output than it receives in its input. In essence commercial Diesel trucks that use DEF are large mobile air filters.

    ALL new trucks that I have seen are equipped with DEF. DEF got a bad name when it first became mandatory and it was scarce and at high prices. Now DEF is available at all of the major truck stops and it normally sells for less the $3.00 per gallon. On my current truck DEF usage is about 2.5 gallons per 50 gallons of Diesel fuel burned.

    The effects of high NO2 from using Diesel engines is eliminated when those Diesel engines have a working DEF system.

    I imagine that better ways to reduce NO2 will be found as the DEF system increases maintenance costs. At the present time though, it is a workable solution to eliminating NO2 emissions from Diesel engines.

    Diesel Exhaust Fluid is 30% UREA and 70% water. DEF has to be very pure in order to not clog up the rest of the DEF system. The Particulate filter eventually becomes to full of carbon and has to be replaced at rather long intervals, those being greater than 250K miles of use.

    If you see a Commercial Diesel Vehicle puffing white clouds out of its exhaust then it is using the DEF system. If you see it puffing black clouds out of its exhaust then it is not using DEF.

    Those white clouds are water vapor, Nitrogen gas, and CO2.

    Now about those Jet aircraft emissions………

  43. There are more points so far not mentioned. Modern diesels with catalytic converters produce very little NOx when the CAT is at a normal working temperature, probably 30MPH. However traffic speed controls and general congestion in major European cities have made average speeds much less than this (London about 9MPH) and so levels are higher than they need to be. Diesels at motorway speeds are cleaner than petrol, but they don’t tell you that. Euro 6 diesel trucks and buses are also very clean, except that may older buses are not to this standard and are exempt from legislation in UK!

    You need to also understand that the NO2 levels under discussion are very low, a few microgrammes per cubic metre, a few parts in 10 to the power 9. I cannot find any medical papers or studies which find any problems at these low levels. All the statistics which are banded about are devoid of the most important number, the statistical significance of the claimed result! Given that they must come from multivariate results ie. many possible causes which cannot be isolated) there should be a number of degrees of freedom given as well as a significance. To get any reasonable significance a huge sample size and very large effect are both required, and any tests which may have been done have neither! Its far too easy to lie with statistics chosen to suit a case.

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