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Businesses industry-wide are on the lookout for clean, low-emissions material handling equipment, including forklifts. While the expanding global efforts to reduce pollution from fossil fuels has helped give rise to electric forklifts, propane is keeping pace as a clean energy source — especially as it continues to evolve.

Manufacturers and propane industry professionals are working to bring propane engine technology into the next frontier in terms of significantly reduced exhaust emissions, improving fuel efficiency, and increasing the reliability of the engine and fuel system. The Propane Education & Research Council itself is pursuing advanced exhaust emissions control and propane hybrid technologies, too.

While the expanding global efforts to reduce fossil fuel-based pollution has helped give rise to electric forklifts, propane is keeping pace as a clean energy source — especially as it continues to evolve.This year at MODEX, Tecogen — a leading manufacturer of clean technologies — displayed a demonstration unit that uses Ultera technology to achieve near-zero emissions with an internal combustion engine. Ultera is a proven patented emissions technology comprised of a two-stage aftertreatment system that reduces the criteria pollutants of NOx, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.

This technology, with the support from PERC and Mitsubishi Caterpillar, was upfitted and tested on a Cat forklift. The system fit compactly under the counterweight and easily adapted to the existing exhaust piping because the components are installed downstream of the engine’s existing catalyst. A heat exchanger first cools the exhaust before it enters a second stage catalytic converter, along with injected air. This cooling controls the chemical reaction temperature in the second stage to promote oxidation of CO and hydrocarbons to near-zero ppm, while preventing the unwanted reformation of NOx. Additional retuning of the engine’s air/fuel mixture control virtually eliminates any residual NOx produced by the engine. This system can be implemented on most existing IC engines as a retrofit solution or incorporated into the emissions control designs by all manufacturers of new forklifts.

This technology can help improve outdoor air quality, especially in non-attainment, highly commercial regions like freight distribution centers and ports. It improves indoor air quality with low carbon exposure, too, which is great for food distribution operations.

For more information on Tecogen Ultera technologies, visit Tecogen.com.