BASF says that its catalysts’ retrofit technology, which addresses harmful emissions from large diesel engines generally found on bus and truck fleets, is ready to meet the anticipated demand from fleet owners as they tap US$300m in stimulus funding directed to the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.

The Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), signed into law by President Obama on Feb. 17, makes the funding available to heavy-duty diesel vehicle and equipment owners to retrofit their fleets. The funding for DERA represents a six-fold increase from the 2008 funding level and will be administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition to the US$300m stimulus spending, the U.S. House and Senate 2009 spending bills include an additional US$60m in funding for DERA activities.

Particulate emissions from diesel engines are of significant concern to government regulators around the world. Buses, trucks, mining vehicles, power generators and other diesel-based equipment are the sources of harmful hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) that pollute the air and are linked to respiratory diseases.

According to the EPA, exposure to particulates from diesel engine exhaust is associated with a range of health effects, from asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia symptoms to retarded lung development. Retrofitting diesel engines with emission control technology can reduce exposure to potentially dangerous particulates.

According to the Emissions Control Technology Association (ECTA), DERA funding will also save approximately 6,300 jobs in the United States.

BASF says the economic impact is likely to be the greatest in the auto parts manufacturing and heavy-duty truck (e.g., school bus) manufacturing sectors, which have sustained job losses at nearly seven to nine times the national rate. In addition, the EPA has established that retrofitting diesel vehicles is highly cost-effective and generates US$13 of health benefits for every US$1 spent.

Tips on how to successfully apply for funding and the latest diesel retrofit news will be available at shortly.

BASF diesel retrofit technology is distributed by Donaldson.