back to article US auto-emissions cleansed in urine-tech shower

German motor titan Mercedes Benz says it will be the first to introduce European-style "AdBlue" clean diesel technology to US consumers. AdBlue involves fitting cars with a tank of special urine-like liquid, which is used to clean the exhaust emissions. In a statement last week, the company said: The diesel engine has proved …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. James Le Cuirot

    Wrong message?

    "This innovative drive technology enables these large and powerful SUVs to meet the limits imposed by the US..."

    While this is good news, I can't help but feel this is sending out the wrong message.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Diminishing returns?

    So, the 28 liters (or litres if your prefer) of liquid will add something on the order of 50 pounds (20kg) of weight to the vehicle, plus the added weight of the tank, plumbing, injection system, etc.

    Of course this would diminish over miles driven and only represents a fraction of the weight of a large SUV. But still, we're constantly being urged to reduce vehicle weight and remove unused items to improve fuel economy.

  3. Morely Dotes

    So Mercedes is saying...

    "You've got a problem with air pollution, and your urban assault vehicle uses too much fuel? Piss on them both!"

  4. miknik

    Oh what fun!

    I'm a Mercedes technician, can't wait to start filling people's cars up with donkey piss solution

  5. David Pollard

    "blue" in the branding

    Though I haven't done a thorough survey, the answer to "Why is the sky blue" often seems to be over-simplified to "Because of the way that nitrogen scatters light". (Check with your favourite search engines.)

    Perhaps the clever marketing people are using an implied reference to what is presumably now urban myth, that 'nitrogen makes the sky blue'. There is then a nice ready-made association: by making nitrogen these new cars help to make the sky blue, just like they do in the adverts

  6. Phil

    @ Wrong message?

    Your right. We should stand up to these enviro-monkeys and demand to emit what we like from our amply engined vehicles

  7. Tim Blair


    you've got to be takin the piss......

    mind you they used it back in the day for every thing from gun powder to dyeing and more.

    I'm full of it, 10p a pint anyone?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Maybe not such a good deal.

    I realize they are more efficient, but how much more the problem is in the states our refineries (ha) favor gasoline production, but all of our freight is hauled by diesel vehicles which means if more people are buying it then it will go up in price, and so will everything we buy. A new refinery complex is being built to favor diesel and jet fuel, but it's not due to come on line till 2009, and it's just one refinery.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    What's wrong with plain 'Pissmobile'?

    ...aaaahh piss on ya!

    Whersh my coat...

  10. Robert Ramsay

    "qualified technicians"

    "Its 28-litre tank of golden AdBlue is enough to go 28000km, seemingly, so Mercedes don't expect that customers will need to top it up themselves. This will be done by technicians during routine servicing."

    I hope the container inlet is at waist height.

  11. EJ
    Thumb Down

    Just in time for US drivers... well, if it was 4 years ago.

    Diesel prices are thru the roof here, and current diesel users are turning away from the fuel due to that increased cost. So now all the manufacturers (Mercedes, BMW, some others) are going to introduce products that no one is going to want.unless the US follows Europe's lead and heavily subsidizes diesel's cost. Very unlikely to happen.

  12. Solomon Grundy

    @ Lester

    You said diesel "which saves money on taxes as well as on buying fuel". You must be comparing UK to US costs?

    As of today: 3/21/2008, premium petrol in the Washington DC area is going for $3.49 per gallon and diesel is going for $4.09 per gallon. Federal regulations and fuel supplier lobbying has driven the cost of diesel through the roof. It is cheaper to fill up my 1971 Monte Carlo with premium petrol than to top off my 2007 Peasant Wagon (VW) with diesel. After a week of driving it's cheaper to drive my muscle car as opposed to my eco-friendly VW - plus I can smoke the VW off the line and through the 1/4. Hahaha, Eco-pussies are slower than me and pay more for the privelage!!! Suck my dual exhaust you pansies.

  13. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Most interesting

    Most interesting gives new meaning to the words Pee Power , which will undoubtedly be the new nick name or words to the similar effect irrespective of advertising , very much in the same vein that whilst the car companies said lift back when the punters who drove them called them hatch backs and in the end the car makers had to go with the flow eventually !

  14. Joe Tamai
    Paris Hilton

    Ahh Love nice big uns

    What wrong message? Meeting the limits? Usns over heah needs big poverful cars & SUVS. I need mine for my 22 foot boat. Also for going for a day's drive. When the next major city is 330 miles away you don't want to be stuffed into a little euro sized box. By the time you'd get out you'd be deaf from the screaming 1 litre engine and stiff as a board from no room to wiggle around in.

    Bring on the big honkin SUVs. Paris loves 'em. And loves in 'em.

  15. Peter Clarke

    Corporate Rebrand

    Expect a large number of green/yellow garages to be sporting the Bee Pee logo very soon!

    News flash- Hive numbers are said to be declining. Game over, man, game over.

    Coat please

  16. Colin Wilson
    Thumb Down

    @ EJ / Solomon

    I take it you're both in the US, yet still moaning about fuel costs - time to get a grip, you've got it soooo easy compared to the UK !

    Right now, regular unleaded ("gas") 95RON is around £1.06 per litre, and diesel is around £1.16 per litre.

    This equates to $2.10 per litre, or $7.95 per (US) gallon of gas, and $2.30 per litre of diesel, or $8.70 per (US) gallon

  17. Anonymous Coward

    RIP breathable air in the USA

    It'll be sad if the US really goes for diesel.

    Here in the UK you can't breathe in cities and even the smallest of towns, anywhere you've got a diesel car driving through or idling - because of the terrible un-breathability of the soot and fumes diesel generates. Petrol fumes are far more breathable.

    Compare London with, say, NY where the buses all run on CNG - the latter's air quality, for breathability, compares incredibly well.

    The last straw for me was in a rural town here in Hertfordshire where cars were slowly driving around looking for parking places (it's called a queue), naturally, whilst out on a Saturday shop: it was like what standing in the centre of London's Euston Road used to be like when I lived in the latter.

    This cycloptic obsession with CO2, which is the one pollutant we are truly helpless but to produce, which is required for energy and economic activity, and the effect of which (global warming) we are most in god's hands in relation to, has produced this perverse situation whereby we are encouraged to buy cars which make our air unbreathable.

    Less of the CO2-bashing, please, more of the known-pollutant-bashing.

  18. Tom


    I've noticed that they always use Blue liquid in diaper (nappy) ads... Maybe it's something they teach if first year marketing.

  19. ratfox
    Thumb Down

    Diesel more costly??

    Sure, a gallon of diesel costs more than a gallon of unleaded, but as its gas mileage is so much better, it should be way cheaper to use diesel... Especially on long distances!

    If you're really paying more to drive a diesel car, you should have it checked.

  20. Michael Mahous
    Thumb Down

    Golf Clap

    I see they're still pushing this Adblue crap despite the fact that EGR NOx reduction is already 20 years more developed. How about spending some more money on that instead of promoting this convoluted system of having everyone to cart around tanks of urea? (and the subsequent distribution system that entails). Or what about spending more money on water spray based systems (both for intake and exhaust) that can scavenge their own water and re-use it

    Its almost like lean-burn vs. unleaded all over again, god forbid we should use our brains and pick the better system, instead lets go for the most new-fangled souding thing that'll bring the investors in.

  21. Daniel Silver badge


    Diesel is not subsidised in the UK or Europe, quite the contrary. In fact taxes imposed by the government ("Fuel duty") constitute nearly 50% of the cost of diesel (around 50-55p per litre).

    In the US the fuel duty on diesel is also rising, hence the higher prices. The solution is not to subsidise, but to stop increasing the taxes. The government will probably have to do this anyway as the baseline price of fuel rises.

  22. tony trolle


    We get more miles to the buck with the Chevy diesel than our other truck (dodge petrol), the twin turbos help :-P.

    To have to remember the oil is priced in US dollars and its worth less these days so to buy an object made outside the US for the same amount of barrels it is going to cost more dollars.

    For a bit of fun Quote "The 2008 E320 BLUETEC does not meet the emissions requirements of California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, or Vermont and is not available in these states. " smoky old diesels :-P

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    distance problems UK vrs US

    Where in the UK could one drive 1000 miles just to get part way to a desdination, like I can here in the US, headed from Cleveland OH to New Orleans, and why because it's cheap here and that's the way we like it

  24. Chris iverson
    Paris Hilton

    My new point of view

    I live in Los Angeles. The next closest big city is San Fransisco or Las Vegas. I have the option of a slow train or an expensive flight or my truck. Cosidering I Can make it to oth those places on $50, I think I will drive until I am given a better option which I have always wanted. Why in the hell can we not have a fast train, especially here. Its not like we are short of land or of railroads. Even for my commute, in one of the wrst places to drive, Southern California has still managed to screw up the trains and not make them run in an economical or convenient fashion.

    Paris because she's good at screwing things.

  25. Seán


    Well soon it'll go from $50 to $100 and it won't be stopping at $100 which will make the plane seem a lot cheaper or will force you out of your "truck" into a real car.

    @P Henry It's litre, not liter, you're spelling it wrong it's l i t r e litre. Now don't make that silly mistake again.

  26. Scott

    When truckers are introduced to the technology... should turn into a real pissing contest.

  27. Robert Gray
    Thumb Up

    Good One!


    If I may add a line used in an ad for a food storage bag's secure seal gimmick (each side having different hues):



  28. Anonymous Coward

    In the land of large minivans, pickups and SUVs

    Is that France? Where not too long ago I watched someone in his Hummer H1 driving around the Arc de Triumphe endlessly, revving the motor, chirping the tires, and otherwise wasting fuel.

    Or England? Where I see just as many Ford Crown Vics, V8 Jeep Grand Cherokees, and Chrysler minivans as I do here.

    I suppose ours just stand out a teensy bit more, perhaps because we don't have all those Vauxhalls, Renaults, and Fiats in the mix to confuse things.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Michael Mahous

    Michael, if you go to Mercedes' website, you will notice that Mercedes is very much aware of EGR-based NOx reduction, however, you appear to fail to take into account that particulates in the exhaust matter too (especially when it comes to freight - which is where BlueTEC first made its appearance, in Mercedes freight trucks).

    Mercedes did a series of tests and found that to avoid particulates, the diesel would have to be burnt at higher temperatures, which ups the NOx emissions. So they use a urea-based component (AdBlue) to reduce NOx emissions by mixing it into the exhaust. The AdBlue solution turns into water, nitrogen and oxygen through a catalytic reaction, reducing NOx AND particulates in one fell swoop,

    That's why EGR does not work for them. EGR would reduce the fuel burn temperatures, which means diesel burns less effectively, which means more particulates in the exhaust.

  30. Matt

    Distance and power.

    You can drive more than 1000 miles by going from London to Barcelona and with a reasonable diesel car you could do it on one tank. For those in the US who think diesels are slow, take a look at the 24 hour races where diesels are winning. A 3 litre BMW diesel can see off most American muscle cars and manage to go round a corner without the door handles scraping the ground.

    In many European countries diesels are more popular than the UK, but strangely don't seem to have the breathing problems reported by one commentator in the UK. This would suggest that the breathing problems are not down to the diesel engines, which in modern form are pretty clean, even the UK governments study was forced to admit that!

  31. James


    We now have the initial exhaust from the engine which is squirted with urea something which is then put through the Cat ? This is beginning to sound like Microsoft Windows Service Packs !!!

    Maybe time for a re-design from the ground up (both of vehicle engine systems and Windows!)

  32. Anonymous Coward


    Liter liter. Liter. Liter liter liter, liter liter liter liter.

    Chicken liter. Chicken chicken chicken.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: RIP breathable air in the USA

    @AC: If you took the time to research this, you'd realise that the unbreathable "soot and fumes" are in fact nitrogen oxides.

    Right now, *my* diesel fuel is sitting at $3.23 per US gallon. My car's vegan, and much healthier for it too. Now all I need to do is work out how to retrofit a urea injection system.

  34. kain preacher

    @Chris iverson

    I live in Los Angeles. The next closest big city is San Fransisco or Las Vegas

    Er the next largest city would be San Jose not SF :)

    Oh and for that train thing. There are now trying to get funding to build a high speed train that will go from Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose ( the largest city in northern California. But in population and land wise) and to Los Angelels

  35. Wayne


    Yeah, but who goes to San Jose, except on a dare or geek-work?

    What LA really needs is a train to LV. Until AlaskaAir stopped running the daily commuter from LV to Burbank it was $70 round-trip. It was great to have a 1hr 15 min commute and live in Henderson.

    A decent railway that allows weekend party-goers and commuters convenient transport would be awesome and prevent the "Holy-Crap I may die sitting here in the desert cuz some drunk-ass bastard wrecked himself" situations I hated so much.

  36. norman

    But what do the techs look like?

    "Its 28-litre tank of golden AdBlue is enough to go 28000km, seemingly, so Mercedes don't expect that customers will need to top it up themselves. This will be done by technicians during routine servicing."

    Don't try this at home?

    Brings new meaning to "routine servicing".

    I think I have seen the video of the German "technicians" in action.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    we really will be filling up with B.P(ee).

  38. David Shaw


    a friend drove from Calais to Italy in their diesel Fiat something-or-other at 40km/h with the engine management system screaming "safe-mode" at them! (the garages in EU were temporarily closed due to summer holidays or something)

    the cause of the safe-mode was that the urea holding tank inside the diesel tank had run-out, this was refilled in Italy , as is usual during a routine service, and I'm not buying an ...insert name of wee containing vehicle... to have similar fun!

  39. Andrew Taylor

    @solomon grundy

    "As of today: 3/21/2008, premium petrol in the Washington DC area is going for $3.49 per gallon and diesel is going for $4.09 per gallon"

    As diesel is about 14% heavier than petrol, that makes them both around the same price per pound ( or per joule )

  40. Xaccers

    Pura 56ppl

    So glad I can run my old diesel on vegetable oil!

  41. Graham Bartlett

    @Michael Mahous

    It's not either-or. EGR is *very* well-known, and all manufacturers use it already. And they also know about its limits.

    Re "lean-burn" engines, they have the problem that they lower some emissions but increase others (Nox). So not great there either. If a catalyst could shift the remaining emissions then fine, but it turns out that the exhaust output of a lean-burn engine makes it difficult to catalyse (translation: much more expensive cat needed). Eventually it might still come back, but only if emissions targets are unreachable except by spending more on the catalyst.

    And lean-burn is 100% unconnected to the leaded/unleaded petrol issue. Whether leaded petrol was really as damaging as suggested isn't completely known AFAIK (especially compared to the LRP additives), but it has no bearing on the issues here, except insofar as leaded petrol is incompatible with catalysts.

  42. Steve

    you all stink up the place

    So glad I can pass the queues of cars pumping out their soot and fumes into each others crash-tested wheelie tombs, each day when I cycle to work.

  43. Anymouse

    An alternative way to lower emissions in the UK

    How about this for a radical new idea - stop town planners/councils/politicians etc. being so bloody car un-friendly. i.e. AC's Hertfordshire town would have less cars in a queue with their engines running at 0mph if there was either adequate parking or if the town is big enough a cheap park&ride bus.

    The way I see it is this, modern cars have a newfangled bit of technology called a gearbox, now gearboxes allow the engine to provide different rotational speeds to the wheels at the same engine rpm output.

    As an example from my 2.5 Turbo veg-oil burner auto-box :-

    tick-over/0mph - 750rpm - Lots of wasted energy

    0-15mph 1st gear - 2000rpm

    15-30mph 2nd gear - 2000rpm

    30mph 3rd gear - 2000rpm

    65mph 4th+overdrive -2500rpm ** good speed / fuel usage ratio

    95mph - 4000rpm red line bad speed / fuel usage ratio

    Acceleration 0-30mph 3500rpm for 6sec and I might just get to the next set of lights before they go red.

    There appears to be a pattern to the above data - the faster/smoother my journey is the less emissions per mile per unit time are being produced.

    The more time I spend crawling along or accelerating the worse the pollution generated vs. duration of journey.

    If the "planners" decided that removing obstructions on the roads that slow traffic un-necessarily, like bus lanes and poorly designed one-way systems with bad traffic light phasing that cause bottleneck jams (e.g. Surrey Quays), and instead adopted a traffic friendly approach (Milton Keynes) then more journeys would be completed in a shorter period of time with less overall pollution, less wasted time and less wasted fuel.

    But from their point of view less fuel usage means less tax & it doesn't look as politically "green" as being anti-car.

    Boffin Icon - well the Powers-that-be wouldn't understand the concept.

This topic is closed for new posts.