Caterpillar Inc.'s C9 ACERT (Advanced Combustion Emission Reduction Technology) engine for heavy-duty trucks has received certification by the Environmental Protection Agency. The engine is the first to use exhaust aftertreatment, rather than cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), to meet EPA '02 emissions standards for heavy-duty diesels.

Used largely in vocational applications such as refuse haulers and dump trucks, as well as emergency vehicles and mass transit buses, the 8.8L C9 is offered in 275- to 400-hp. ratings. Full production of the ACERT C9 is scheduled begin in the first quarter of this year, according to the company.

Most engine makers chose EGR technology to meet the court-mandated October '02 deadline for the stricter emissions levels. Caterpillar, however, announced that it would not meet that deadline as it continued work on its alternative ACERT approach to emissions control. Instead, Cat received conditional certification from EPA to sell “bridge” on-highway truck engines after October 1, 2002 that fell short of the new federal emissions standards and were subject to fines for each one sold.

The company has announced that all of its on-highway truck and bus engines will be equipped with the ACERT technology by the fourth quarter of 2003. Cat has also indicated that the technology will be used to meet future emissions regulations for Caterpillar's entire diesel engine product line, including construction and mining machines and power generation units.