Clean Diesel – a technology that delivers what drivers want and what legislators demand

IPA's position on clean diesel

What is Clean Diesel?

Current clean diesel technology with improved electronic engine control, fuel injection and emissions control system helps to meet emissions limits and delivers high fuel efficiency.

Clean Diesel is a viable option for sustainable transportation in the long term. It combines better fuel economy and higher pulling power than similar-sized gasoline engines and highly effective emissions control technology.

  • Today's clean diesel-powered passenger vehicle represents an average of 20 to 25% improvement in fuel economy over similar gasoline powered models.
  • The total amount of CO2 emissions of the average clean diesel is 15% less than an equivalent gasoline engine.
  • Platinum, Palladium and Rhodium act as catalysts and are instrumental in significantly reducing emissions.
  • Diesel vehicles are an important means to enable manufacturers to reach the EU's CO2 fleet average targets.
  • Further enhanced engine systems in combination with catalyst technology will also enable reduced real driving emissions.

Diesel technology is continuously being improved. Low-emission diesel engines in passenger vehicles, trucks and buses use low-sulfur diesel fuels and specialized catalytic converters, advanced soot filters, and other devices to cut down or eliminate harmful emissions.

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PGM Commodity Risk Report 2015 published by German Mineral Resources Agency

Platinum, palladium and rhodium are considered to be potentially critical raw materials both by DERA and the EU. There is currently a high supply concentration as well as a raised country risk for both mining and the manufacturing of semi-finished goods. In the recently published DERA Commodity Risk Report on PGMs the current global market is reviewed and possible risks of future supply up to the year 2018 are identified and thoroughly discussed. In the report two separate supply/demand scenarios with three different demand growth rate assumptions up to 2018 where calculated for platinum and palladium.

Due to the economic situation in South Africa the mining industry will be faced with further cost increases. Especially rising labour and electricity costs in conjunction with declining productivity partly due to strikes and low PGM prices will have an impact on the industry. As a consequence many of the PGM mines in the Bushveld Complex are currently mining at a loss. This has already resulted in the closure of shafts as well as the delay of future mining projects.The mining of PGMs in the Russian Federation is dominated by a single company, namely Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical Co.. Since PGMs are recovered as by-products of the nickel production, it is necessary to closely monitor the nickel market as well as corresponding corporate developments. The supply of palladium from the Russian Federation could also be influenced by the developments in Ukraine conflict or associated sanctions and possible trade restrictions.

Currently there are no major mining projects at sight on a global scale that could supply larger amounts of PGMs in the near future to the market. Additionally a lot of project under construction at the moment are either stalled or construction is postponed due to the current price environment. Therefore exploration spending is also negatively affected. Since there are many uncertainties regarding the future supply/demand given scenarios are only intended as a market indicator. Reliable information beyond 2018 is not meaningful due to numerous uncertainties.

In addition to the primary production, the secondary production plays an important role in the global supply of PGMs. Between 2006 and 2013, recycling has contributed substantially to a declining mine production. However, the growth of secondary production is limited due to different factors such as different life cycles of PGM bearing products, varying recycling rates as well as PGM prices. However, it seems very important to expand existing recycling potentials in order to recover more PGMs cost effective. This applies primarily to the field of automotive catalytic converters, which is still the main area of end use.”

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First PGM Life Cycle Assessment Completed

As an association representing the platinum group metals (PGM) industry, the IPA has conducted and completed the first industry-wide life cycle assessment of PGMs in order to generate a reliable, current and independent dataset of the environmental footprint of these metals and of products containing PGMs.

The study and its results are explained and summarized in The Environmental Profile of PGMs which can be downloaded here. More information on the methodology is available from our Life Cycle Assessment Fact Sheet. Please also visit our Sustainabilty section to learn more about the IPA LCA Study.» more

PGM Facts

Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) consist of six silver-white metals: platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium. They occur together in nature and are produced from the same ore. They are mined mainly in South Africa, Russia, and North America. » more