It is a rather common occurrence these days to see light- and heavy-duty diesel trucks under high load at low engine speed or rapid acceleration put out huge clouds of black smoke. The black smoke seems harmless enough until you read all the scientific studies that have been conducted since the early ’80s by the National Science Foundation and many others.
As it turns out, the findings reveal that the black smoke actually is a complex hydrocarbon. So what does that mean to you or me when we are driving beside or behind a truck that is pumping out these complex hydrocarbons? Research has determined that these hydrocarbons can cause lung cancer and mutations of our DNA, much like a sensitive frog that grows a third leg out of its head.
We don’t need to look at global warming for these effects but, rather, right here in our own backyards. Truck manufacturers have had the opportunity to fix these problems since the early ’80s, and although there have been improvements in diesel fuels, the real problem is in converting a low-vapor-pressure liquid (diesel) into a gas so that it can burn completely. Unfortunately, we still see the clouds of complex hydrocarbons every day after more than 30 years.
Don’t lose hope. There is a solution, and that is to convert diesel engines to burn natural gas. Several companies around the world are manufacturing these conversion kits, so please, for everyone’s safety, convert your diesel engines ASAP.
Gary L. Boyd