The study, conducted by the Coordinating Research Council and Health Effects Institute, takes a look at emissions performance since the new technology came on board.
"These findings underscore just how clean this new generation of fuels, engines and emissions control technology really is," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, a Frederick, Md., based organization representing the diesel industry.
The study is part of a multi-party, five-year study to test emissions and health effects of new diesel technologies.
"Ultimately these findings translate into even greater clean air benefits for local communities than were previously expected," said Schaeffer. "More than 360,000 of these heavy-duty trucks and buses were sold in 2007 and 2008. Today's diesel trucks and buses are so clean it would take 60 of today's models to have the same soot emissions as one 1988 model."
This study focused on highway diesel engines in commercial trucks and buses, but the same standards for cleaner diesel fuel and lower emissions will be applied to non-road engines and equipment used in construction, agriculture, mining and other industries over the next five years.
"Getting to these near-zero levels of emissions is a result of the highly integrated clean diesel system; cleaner ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engine technologies and emissions control systems," Schaeffer said. "Meeting the 2007 standards was a major milestone in clean diesel technology, but we're not done yet. In just about six months, new 2010 engines will build on these results and slash oxides of nitrogen emissions by another 50 percent."
The study is available at www.dieselforum.org.