'No Smoke' Eliminates Hanging Hoses in Firehouse
Vol 21 No 5
Environmental mandates by the EPA require that 2007 model trucks, including fire apparatus, be equipped with an exhaust after-treatment device (ATD) that reduces particulate emissions released outdoors. However, ATDs do nothing about toxic gases released in the firehouse while the vehicle is idling indoors, said John Meier, president of Ward Diesel Filter Systems.
NOx refers to the various nitrous oxides, carbon monoxide (CO) or pollutants produced during combustion. As you reduce soot and particulate emission in diesel exhaust, gaseous emissions go up, Meier said.
"EPA is requiring that the particulate emissions on diesel vehicles be reduced to a certain level," Meier said. "In order to do that NOx, CO emissions are increasing rather dramatically."
No Smoke 2007 is a product specifically designed to clean up the work environment and make the firehouse safe, said Meier.
"There are lots of hazardous toxic gases associated with diesel exhaust that are known carcinogens," Meier said. "OSHA measures those gases in permissible exposure limits. What No Smoke 2007 does is directly target that gaseous material."
An improved version of the previously available No Smoke product, No Smoke 2007 utilizes a high performance ceramic substrate with a proprietary wash coat to remove gaseous emissions from diesel engines. The six-inch source capture device is directly integrated into the exhaust system of the vehicle.
"I compare it to the Gulf War when they put carbon liners in military uniforms as a way to keep out poison gas," Meier said. "In our product the washcoat removes the toxic gases."
Hanging exhaust hoses are also a source capture system. The problem with hoses is that firefighters often neglect to connect them to the tailpipe.
"Someone returning to the station in the middle of the night who is cold and wet doesn't always remember to grab the hose and hook it up," Meier said. "It certainly doesn't happen 100 percent of the time. In the fire service you want to make things as user friendly as possible."
The No Smoke 2007 is wired directly to the starter of the vehicle.
"The driver starts the engine and the No Smoke 2007 automatically diverts the exhaust into our substrate for a pre-set period time that can be customized for each vehicle," Meier said. "A crash truck may need 90 seconds to get out of the firehouse bay. An ambulance may be able to do it in 20 seconds."
Once the vehicle is on the street, the No Smoke 2007 automatically redirects the engine exhaust to exit through the muffler as usual.
"When you put the vehicle into reverse to back into the station the device is wired to the backup lights so that it will automatically engage," Meier said. "Once the vehicle is in park it will go into its timing cycle."
The problem with continuing to use hanging hoses with new vehicles is that updated emissions standards mean exhaust will be as much as 300 degrees hotter. While the No Smoke 2007 can handle temperatures far in excess of that heat, the hotter exhaust will melt or otherwise damage exhaust hoses, Meier said.
No Smoke 2007 can be retrofitted to older vehicles with diesel engines. Installation will not void any engine warranty, Meier said. Also, the No Smoke 2007 system is covered by FEMA grants, he said.