Southern Drilling, a Georgia-based provider of heavy drilling equipment for mining operations, water wells and mineral exploration has been instrumental in reducing diesel fuel consumption and pollution in the state for the last five years.
Southern Drilling, a Georgia-based provider of heavy drilling equipment for mining operations, water wells and mineral exploration has been instrumental in reducing diesel fuel consumption and pollution in the state for the last five years. Southern Drilling is the exclusive distributor in Georgia of Emissions Technology, Inc.'s Combustion Catalyst Systems (CCS) that reduces harmful pollutants in stationary diesel engines by 50 percent and lowers fuel consumption 15 - 20 percent.
"At first I thought it was pure snake oil," says John Yongue, president of Southern Drilling. "After I tried it on a diesel drilling rig, I quickly became a believer."
Now, 200 installations later, Yongue is still a firm believer in the product, and he is making new believers with each new installation. Besides drilling rigs, Yongue has installed CCS units on diesel generators, grinders, chippers and pumps.
The catalyst system was designed by Phoenix-based technology company Emissions Technology. It is the size of a large cereal box and is installed under the hood, near the diesel engine's turbocharger. The technology makes the engine combustion cleaner and more efficient by injecting a platinum-based catalyst into the combustion chamber. The concept is the same as taking a catalytic converter, and installing it on the front end of the combustion cycle, rather than on the exhaust.
According to Troy Bohlke, vice president of marketing/investor relations for Emissions Technology, "It was a big plus to us when we discovered that the catalyst system could save fuel and help engines run cleaner. It was originally designed to reduce particulate emissions from diesel engines. However, now we are killing three birds with one stone...reducing pollutants, lowering fuel consumption and increasing the life of the engine with one CCS unit."
Two of Yongue's customers also have become "die hard" believers. Greg Grosch, manager of Grosch Drilling, a 74 year old company in Dublin, Georgia operates between 30 ”“ 35 heavy drilling rigs used for boring large diameter municipal and agricultural water wells. Yongue installed a CCS unit on one of Grosch's drilling rigs and three more units on his diesel air compressors. So impressed by the savings, Grosch is preparing to retrofit his remaining diesel-driven drilling rigs, generators and air compressors spread throughout Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Colorado and Illinois with CCS units.
"We immediately began to notice fuel savings right after the installation," says Greg Grosch, manager of Grosch Drilling. "We also noticed the bigger the engine, the bigger the savings, the better my bottom line."
Ronnie Savage of Ronnie Savage Construction, a land clearing company located in Maysville, Georgia, with operations in Alabama had Yongue install a total of three CCS units on two of their diesel grinders. The CCS reduced fuel consumption by 16 percent on their 650 hp grinder and 23 percent on their 1000 hp grinder. After 15 days of operation on the 1000 hp grinder, running eight hours a day, the CCS reached its break even point.
According to Ronnie Savage, president of the Ronnie Savage Construction, "It was too good to be true. When you're the one writing the checks for fuel, you take notice of the savings quickly."
Health and environmental concerns are causing a number of states to enact stricter emissions' control legislation. This is placing companies that operate older, non-compliant diesel-powered equipment in a tailspin, looking for ways to quickly, but economically become compliant. Unfortunately, their choices are limited to either purchasing entirely new equipment which is cost prohibitive, or finding less expensive, after market solutions, which are often time consuming to install.
"Less fuel and less smoke...we are saving money and the environment. That doesn't take a PhD to figure out," says Savage.
By injecting the platinum-based catalyst into the cylinder, scaring and pitting is reduced within the combustion chamber. This increases the lifespan of the engine while keeping the engine operating at optimum performance.
Southern Drilling technicians can install a CCS unit in 1Â½ to three hours. In addition, Southern Drilling performs most of their installations "in the field" to reduce the amount of time the equipment is not in operation at the work site.