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Catalytic Coverters by 2008...Bummer

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:52 PM
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I'm curious, where do you see these efi problems?

EFI is actually SIMPLER than a carb. in operation, and it is ideal, where as every part of a carb is a compromise. But this isn't an efi vs carb thread, its about cats on boats. EFI is superior, no question.

The high performance boat industry is minuscule, but how many run abouts are there everywhere with merc small blocks? That is a rather large number. Hell, in the NYC boat show there must have been a few hundred boats, and what, 12 high performance boats?

It just sucks that law makers can't see a difference.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by 100-Plus View Post
But I do think that the catalyst systems will become workable in marine applications. Will they raise the price of engines? Well, let me answer a question with a question: What technological development in engine building hasn't raised prices? Or, more to the point, when was the last tiime you saw marine engine prices drop?

When you say we do "anything can be done if we spend enough money," you do hit the nail on the head. But since when has technological innovation come on the cheap?

Good discussion.
Catalytic converters "probably" can be made workable, and I say probably, because the salt water environment is brutal. So far the testing in salt water I've seen has been minimal. I'm not convinced they are going to last with the current state of engineering. Just sitting in salt air will corrode just about anything, let alone conditions where salt water is pumped within a few inches of the end of a catalytic converter. It could end up being that the catalytic converters may fail just by sitting there at the harbor. Salt water is loaded with disolved solids that will easily coat the converter precious metals, and render them non-catalytic. The manufacturers have to warranty these systems, too.

Michael

Last edited by Michael1; 01-25-2008 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:52 AM
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If I didn't make it clear earlier in the thread. Water, (of any kind) will have to be kept away from the cat. As the Gibbs Aquada (amphicar) did, you will have to use reversion devices or a "u bend" or some other device to prevent water coming into contact with a hot monolith.

As I also stated most automotive powertrain components are tested for 200hrs in 5% saline (sea is 3.5%) so if those specs need to be improved they can. Normally through using thicker plating!

Cats casings are made from stainless and the outer of any marine cat will be cased and water jacketed. This must be fairly standard marine practice so making a salt water jacketed cooled exhaust last must be fairly normal isn't it?

Re: the unfair practices in the emissions laws vs automotive: auto legislation already allows for fleet averaging so a big expensive dirty car is offset against a horde of small family cars. That already happens in US auto legislation. Look up fleet average NOx emissions for the latest LEV2 Tier2 Bin 2-8. You can make cars that go in any bin (lower is less NOx) but your fleet average must be less than 0.07g/mi of NOx. They're copying this straight over. Smaller manufacturers buy credits from larger manufacturers and that has to be seen to be fair.

For the marine regs, if it needs to be in the regs to prevent one manufacturer eg Merc, cornering the market then that's what needs to be done.

Despite Ray's empassioned (and eloquent) defence of the boating industries travails, a 5g/kWh HC+Nox standard is NOT technically hard given the weightings applied to the various modes. Jeez that's more than a Cat bulldozer currently gets and they're huge (US off highway regs are 3.5g/kWh for info). The hard bit is the water not the actual emissions. And the cost issue, again most new engines are already EFI so we're only talking about adding cats and O2 sensors. As components they're just not that expensive.

The hard bit is making the cat work in a marine exhaust system as the discussion above mentions eg coming off plane stern waves or following seas at low speeds etc.

/off topic non-engineering-ish

The loss of jobs to cheaper areas of the world is the flipside of globalisation that everyone has been arguing for for years. The trick for us (the developed nations), is to not join in a race for the bottom (we'll lose as our standard of living is to high to allow us to win that race). We need to be developing advanced technologies and then selling those around the world to those that can't develop them.

India and China are just waiting for us to develop more newer clean technologies so they can use them. They've already shown their willingness to try and clean up their acts as soon as they can eg car emissions standards are now almost as high as they are in Europe and fuel econ is better We need to be supplying them with that technology. That's where we make our money: by selling skills and technology not trying to compete with sweat shops....

Last edited by Ruaraidh; 01-25-2008 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:29 AM
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Wink How does it really work??

Ruaraida makes good points with respect to the fact that the catalytic converter systems can be made to work with enough quality engineering and development. The problems with this legislation as I was discussing is that the average boater (not John Reginald Moneybags III) is going to have a more difficult time purchasing a new boat when the costs per boat increase on average 3-5 thousand per engine and the real reduction of that quantity of emissions over the whole gamit of pollution sources will not even justify the addtional expense and complexity (more warranty issues!) that these new boat owners will be faced with. The industry right now with computer controlled electronics, efi fuel systems could make closed loop (O2 driven) fuel programs that with careful air fuel ratio calibrations settings that could produce engines that are on average 50% less polluting now than current models. This is a level of improvement that the auto industry was never asked to meet on a time certain schedule and yet the marine engine industry is being forced to make incredible percentage improvements in a matter of two to three years!

Don't get me wrong here, I firmly believe we have to protect the enviroment from emissions and pollution and we the marine engine industry can get it done and most likely will. Lets just not kill the very industry we are trying to regulate here with over zealous time tables and technology JUMPS that will produce MY products at costs my customers can not afford!

Lets also try and keep a level playing field with the rest of our Global players like China and India, where smog emission and pollution levels are so high that they are now stating the athletes in this summer Olympics in Bejing will not be able to compete in the current conditions !!

Back to boating! Timing is everything !! This is not a great time in boating to upset the dimming sales and use levels to enforce ill thought legislation on an industry who will be treading water for the next few years just to keep from drowning!
Lets continue to study, develop, test, test, test and really develop emissions systems that can be reliable and low cost enough that the boating industry and consumer can afford to purchase the product in increasing numbers, not dwindling sales !!

The world is built on good intentions, but it Dies on poorly concieved and executed plans !!

I really am an optomist ! But I am also a Realist !!

Regards,
Ray @ Raylar
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:31 PM
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[QUOTE=Ruaraidh;2420082]If I didn't make it clear earlier in the thread. Water, (of any kind) will have to be kept away from the cat. As the Gibbs Aquada (amphicar) did, you will have to use reversion devices or a "u bend" or some other device to prevent water coming into contact with a hot monolith.



I'm sure these"reversion" devices are going to be great for horsepower. What a laugh.



Darrell.
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Old 01-26-2008, 03:14 PM
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It was all just a matter of time before the EPA went after boats. The EPA has already gone after diesel trucks, and buses. The companion CleanAir Non-road Diesel Rule requires stringent controls on diesel engines used in industries like construction, agriculture, and mining.

The boat applications will present unique challenges, especially in a salt water environment.

Airflow Catalyst Systems(www.airflowcatalyst.com)based here in Rochester, NY, develops wash coats for catalytic converters.They have a developed a coating for diesel applications that utilize a low lightoff temperature. (The lightoff temp is where chemical reaction occurs-with diesel, the lower the temp the more efficient in reducing the pollutants.)This type of concept could trickle over to the marine side.
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:06 AM
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DMOORE,

Are you seriously trying to suggest that carburetors are more reliable than electronic fuel injection? Yeah, that's why the entire mainstream automotive world has gone to EFI. That's why Mercury Racing doesn't have a carbureted engine in its line-up.

No one said EFI doesn't fail. But compare the reliability and running quality of, say, Mercury Racing's 1075SCi to any carbureted 1,000 hp engine and it ain't even close.

I'm just curious: What do you know about EFI and all its "shortcomings" that Sterling, Teague, Mercury Racing, Ilmor and most of the other major players do not. By ALL accounts, EFI combined with computer mapping have made big-horsepower engines far more reliable and manageable than their carbureted ancestors.

Raylar ... totally agree with all your points, except need a clarification on one. When you say "level the playing field" and then cite China's obscene pollution levels as an example, are you suggesting that we let our pollution levels reach those in China in the name of "commerce." I mean, you're right, from a manufacturers in China don't have to jump through a fraction of the environmental hoops guys like you do over here. Then again, the guys in China can't breathe their own air. Quite a price to pay for a complete lack of restriction.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:59 AM
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Re: the unfair practices in the emissions laws vs automotive: auto legislation already allows for fleet averaging so a big expensive dirty car is offset against a horde of small family cars. That already happens in US auto legislation. Look up fleet average NOx emissions for the latest LEV2 Tier2 Bin 2-8. You can make cars that go in any bin (lower is less NOx) but your fleet average must be less than 0.07g/mi of NOx. They're copying this straight over. Smaller manufacturers buy credits from larger manufacturers and that has to be seen to be fair.
Fair by whom? There is a big difference between the marine engine industry, and the current automotive industry. There are a lot of people who are NOT RICH who purchase aftermarket marine engines. The small volume car manufacturing you're talking about are sold to wealthy people, who want to buy Ferrari's, Maserati's, etc. I cannot think of any certified, affordable low volume car. The rest of the manufacturers were run out of business decades ago by regulation. In addition, a variety of marine engines can be placed in a single boat. The same cannot be said for automotive engines.

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Despite Ray's empassioned (and eloquent) defence of the boating industries travails, a 5g/kWh HC+Nox standard is NOT technically hard given the weightings applied to the various modes. Jeez that's more than a Cat bulldozer currently gets and they're huge (US off highway regs are 3.5g/kWh for info).
For one thing, Cats are diesels. Second, what does size have to do with it? The standards are g/hp. Third, the short life of many ultra high performance gasoline marine engines makes these standard extremely expensive, with the warranties being required by CARB and EPA. It is nothing short of ridiculous.

Michael
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:46 AM
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Michael, are you saying boating is not expensive? Average us car price can't be more than 30k. Show me a boat, any boat at that price new. What will you get, a 19 foot starcraft?

Boating is in a different price point then cars, a higher one. Car engines have a variety, v6, v8 options. Go to medium duty trucks, and you have different diesel choices, cat cummins international. Besides that, marine engines are all based on GM big blocks, and have to have similar traits when trying to regulate emissions.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:50 PM
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Michael, are you saying boating is not expensive? Average us car price can't be more than 30k. Show me a boat, any boat at that price new. What will you get, a 19 foot starcraft?

Boating is in a different price point then cars, a higher one. Car engines have a variety, v6, v8 options. Go to medium duty trucks, and you have different diesel choices, cat cummins international.

Not saying it is not expensive, but 30K will get you a Baja Outlaw 20.

Compare the automotive engine options you had in the 60's to now. There is no comparison. In the 60's some cars had engine choices all the way from an inline 6 with a 2 bbl, to a big block V8 with dual 4bbls. Take the '65 Corvette. You had 327/300hp, 327/365 hp, 327/350hp, 327/375hp, 396/425hp. What do you have today? Exactly 2 choices. Why? Because it costs millions of dollars to cerfify just one engine. If I buy a 28' Pantera today, I can put anything i want into it, from dozens of engine manufacturers with different sizes and horsepowers. I have probably hundreds of options. The standards are going to limit choice, and increase cost. That's just a fact.

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Besides that, marine engines are all based on GM big blocks, and have to have similar traits when trying to regulate emissions.
What about the Illmore?

There is way more to certifying an engine for emissions than the block. You sure you don't work for the California Air Resources Board, or the EPA?

Maybe someone from Europe can chime in here. They have emission standards there, and they can't even get many of the same engines from Mercury Marine that we can, let alone from the other engine builders.

Michael

Last edited by Michael1; 01-30-2008 at 02:31 AM.
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