The Importance Of Aftertreatment

Jordan Greathouse
March 2023

Heavy-duty trucks play a vital role in our everyday lives. These trucks are designed to carry large payloads and travel long distances, making them an essential component of the transportation sector. However, these trucks also significantly impact the environment due to their emissions. As a result, the development of aftertreatment systems has become increasingly important for modern class 8 trucks to reduce their environmental impact.

An aftertreatment system is essential to a modern truck's exhaust system. It is designed to reduce harmful emissions that are produced during the combustion process. These emissions include nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO), which can have a detrimental impact on the environment and human health. Aftertreatment systems use various technologies to remove these harmful emissions from the exhaust stream before they are released into the atmosphere. 

One of the primary benefits of aftertreatment systems for class 8 trucks is that they help to reduce harmful emissions. These emissions significantly contribute to air pollution and have been linked to various health problems, including respiratory diseases and cancer. By reducing emissions, aftertreatment systems help to create cleaner and healthier air for people to breathe. 

One of the most common technologies used in aftertreatment systems is the diesel particulate filter (DPF). The DPF is designed to capture and remove particulate matter from the exhaust stream. It uses a ceramic filter that traps soot particles as they pass through the exhaust system. The trapped particles are then burned off during a process known as regeneration, which converts the soot into ash and releases it from the filter. This process helps to reduce the amount of particulate matter released into the atmosphere. 

Another technology used in aftertreatment systems is the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system. The SCR system uses a catalyst to convert nitrogen oxides (NOx)

into harmless nitrogen and water. The system injects a urea-based solution, known as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), into the exhaust stream. The DEF reacts with the NOx in the presence of the catalyst, breaking it down into nitrogen and water. This process helps to reduce the amount of NOx released into the atmosphere. 

In addition to reducing emissions, aftertreatment systems can improve the fuel efficiency of Class 8 trucking rigs when used correctly and regularly maintained in conjunction with the OEM's maintenance intervals. By reducing the amount of work required by the engine to overcome the resistance of the aftertreatment system, the engine can operate more efficiently, resulting in lower fuel consumption. This reduces the cost of operating the truck and the number of greenhouse gases emitted during operation. 

Another benefit of aftertreatment systems for class 8 trucking is that they help to comply with emissions regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established strict emissions regulations for heavy-duty trucks to reduce their environmental impact. Aftertreatment systems are essential to meeting these regulations, as they help reduce emissions and ensure compliance with the EPA's standards.

We here at Pittsburgh Power understand that certain aspects of the industry have gotten complicated over the last few years. Between fuel pricing and parts availability, the Aftertreatment system has become more of a hindrance than a benefit to the owner-operators in the business. Some have even gone so far as to delete the system entirely in an effort to be rid of the headache. This will not only cost you money in the long run, but it could also irreparably damage your engine if not done by someone with vast knowledge of the mechanical and programming aspects. 

The aftertreatment system need not be a headache. With regular parked regens, limited idling, and a regular DPF cleaning interval, this equipment will serve you for many years with no issues. In tandem with our Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst and DPF Alternative ultrasonic cleaning services, the Maintenance of this system becomes even easier. Visit our website to learn more about these products and be sure to listen to us on The Power Hour every Tuesday at 11 AM ET, hosted by Kevin Rutherford on his new platform, Audio Road. Download the app today on all android and apple stores. 

Another exciting development at the shop is our return to Sirius XM. Pittsburgh Power is back on the Road Dog network, (Ch. 146). Be sure to tune in to our new show, The Pit Stop, Hosted by Dave Nemo every Monday at 10 AM ET, 

Written by: Jordan Greathouse, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 S. Noah Drive, Saxonburg, PA, 16056 Phone (724) 360-4080 Email: [email protected] Website: