“For comparison, an 18-wheeler diesel engine truckwould have to drive 143 miles on the freeway to put out the same mass of particulates as a single charbroiled hamburger patty.” - Bill Welch, the principle engineer, University of California-Riverside

The major advancements in clean diesel technology have been highlighted in a new and unique study by the University of California-Riverside that found commercially cooked hamburgers emit more particulate matter than 2007-2010 model year clean diesel trucks.

The UC-Riverside study was funded by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. The study was first reported by CBS-TV Los Angeles.

“While the primary focus of this new study was on emissions from commercial charbroilers, this comparison clearly illustrates the significant improvements from clean diesel technology on California’s air quality. In fact, the study also found that the particulate matter (PM) inventory from commercial cooking is more than double the inventory from heavy-duty diesel trucks.” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

“I will say this is an extremely unusual comparison. Generally, clean diesels are matched up against natural gas, hybrids or electric vehicles for emissions or fuel efficiency tests. This is the first time we’ve gone head-to-head against fast food,” Schaeffer said.

“But more of these kinds of comparisons are likely, especially In California, where clean diesel technology has been such a success story. Today in California the majority of particulate emissions come from brake and tire wear, with diesel emissions making up small and declining fraction.”