Light-Duty Vehicle Emissions Research & Development
International Alternative Fuel
Technology Center (IAFTC) Home

image of chassis dynamometers

Chassis dynamometers are used to evaluate exhaust emissions and fuel economy from passenger cars and trucks according to government procedures.


image of assessing alternative fuels in conventional as well as hybrid vehicles.

SwRI has extensive experience assessing alternative fuels in conventional as well as hybrid vehicles.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has pioneered the development of techniques to measure emissions from passenger cars and light trucks operating on alternative fuels.

In addition, SwRI performs detailed exhaust characterization such as:

  • Hydrocarbon speciation
  • Measurement of air toxics
  • Sampling and analysis of particulate matter

Evaporative as well as tailpipe emissions are measured. Test cycles include those required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB), as well as Europe and Asia. Off-cycle conditions (hard accelerations, high power absorption, and others) can be run, and test temperatures can be controlled from -12 C to 49 C (10°F to 120°F).

Light-Duty Vehicle Emissions

  • Fuel and additive effects on emissions
  • Fuel economy effects
  • Evaporative emissions measurements
  • Emissions at high and low temperatures
  • Fuel effects on durability of emissions systems
  • Alternative and flexible fuel vehicle research
  • Aftertreatment system interactions
  • Periodic testing during mileage accumulation

Light-Duty Test Capabilities

  • Five-chassis dynamometers
  • Separate spark- and compression-ignition particulate sampling systems
  • Real-time emission measurements

Related Terminology

alternative fuel  •  light-duty vehicle emissions  •  fuel research  •  emissions research and development  •  emission controls  •  retrofit evaluation  •  emissions characterization  •  emissions sampling  •  engine performance improvement

International Alternative Fuel Technology Center (IAFTC),
Robert Burrahm, Assistant Director, Office of Automotive Engineering, 210-522-3064,

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.