BRADENTON -- After a conversion program is completed, driving behind a school bus won't result in as much coughing and breath holding.
The Manatee County School District said in a press release that its Vehicle Maintenance Department will be working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the National Clean Diesel Campaign to install new mufflers on buses bought before 2003.
Buses bought after 2003 already have clean diesel emission systems and do not need to be modified.
The new Diesel Oxidation Catalysts will reduce emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and unburned fuel and oil from district school buses, the district said.
The Oxidation Catalysts cost about $150,000 including labor and parts and are fully funded through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the National Clean Diesel Campaign. The district will not have to pay anything. The catalysts will be installed on 141 of 212 school buses in the fleet.
An Oxidation Catalyst works like a car's catalytic converter. As exhaust gas passes over the catalyst material (platinum), a chemical exchange occurs and the harmful emissions are oxidized into oxygen and water.
The installation process is expected to take about an hour per bus and is scheduled to begin in April. Ring Power, a local Caterpillar dealer, will conduct the installations, which will be done during the normal business day with no interruption of service to schools or students.
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