MTD, University work for lower emissions, reduced particulate matter

By Erica McKinney

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is partnering with the University of Illinois to help the environment.

For the next two years the bus company, along with Professor Xinlei Wang, will be testing four buses with Diesel Particulate Filters.

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Director of Maintenance at MTD David Moore said these filters help lower emissions and reduce particulate matter.

“It removes anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of what would be commonly known as soot,” Moore said. “That is the black particles that is expelled from the exhaust pipe of a diesel engine.”

Moore said that the filters appear to be working so far. The exhaust pipes from the four coaches they’re testing are as clean as they were a month and a half ago when they were installed.

But coaches without the filter have a black residue.

Wang explained how the soot produced from the buses affects the community.

“Those things people believe is really harmful to our health; it can cause lung cancer, can cause asthma and other lung problems,” Wang said.

Currently MTD reaches the state’s emissions standards. They use a B-5 blend, which is five percent biodiesel and 95 percent diesel.

Anne Munaretto is co-president of the University Student Biodiesel Emisson group. She said the bus filters are as effective as an increased use of biodiesel.

“What biodiesel does is it decreases the particulate matter and carbon monixide and that’s just the same thing they’re going to be doing,” Munaretto said. “And so its expensive which is probably why they aren’t used that often but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Moore said if the testing continues to produce postive results, they will begin to ask for more funding to install the systems in more of their buses.