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SwRI launches clean diesel consortium

San Antonio -- January 28, 2004 -- Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) is launching its fourth cooperative research program to reduce diesel engine emissions. The consortium, known as Clean Diesel IV, comprises more than 30 members, including light, heavy-duty, and off-road engine manufacturers, component suppliers, and oil and fuel companies.

Interested companies may join Clean Diesel IV any time during the four-year program. The newest effort, which builds on 12 years of clean diesel programs at SwRI, seeks to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's stringent 2010 emissions goals. The program offers a yearly renewable contract.

Like its three predecessors, the new consortium is designed to develop new diesel technologies. Daniel Stewart, director of Combustion and Emissions in the SwRI Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division, explained that participants select the consortium work from a number of Institute-suggested projects. Institute engineers and scientists recommend areas of interest based on SwRI's extensive automotive-related experience and on work performed during the three earlier clean diesel consortia.

The primary objective is to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx) to 0.2 gram per horsepower-hour (g/hp-hr) and particulates to 0.01 g/hp-hr. A secondary objective is to achieve U.S. Tier 2/Bin 5 emission standards for light-duty trucks. The final U.S. Tier 2 standards are based on a system in which manufacturers have the option of certifying any particular vehicle to one of eight emission categories or "bins," each having specified standards of differing stringency for a variety of air pollutants. These standards will be phased in for the United States later this year.

"Typically, four to six projects are conducted each year, with projects being added, completed or extended according to participant recommendations," Stewart said. Potential projects include the development of emission-reduction devices and strategies, such as model-based controls, lean NOx trap regeneration and control strategies with a flexible fuel and valve-actuation system engine.

Other possible projects include selective catalytic reduction (SCR) modeling and control, variable valve actuation, homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) combustion and control strategies, and real-time combustion control using cylinder pressure-based strategies and variable-area injection nozzles.

"Although technology developed during the earlier clean diesel programs will be brought forward as needed, we will be working toward different, more stringent goals," Stewart noted.

One advantage of consortium membership is that the impact of the yearly contribution is multiplied by the number of participants, providing substantially more research than would be possible through funding from a single member. For example, first year spending is budgeted at approximately $2 million. Also, SwRI's internal research programs involving control algorithms and modified combustion concepts will be shared with consortium members. These efforts often form the basis for focused research under the consortium.

In addition to other membership benefits, the Institute will aggressively pursue patent applications for technology developed during the Clean Diesel IV program, and consortium participants will receive a royalty-free license to use the technology.

For more information about Clean Diesel IV, contact Stewart at (210) 522-3657, fax (210) 522-2019 or e-mail daniel.stewart@swri.org.

For more information, contact Deborah Deffenbaugh, Communications Department, (210) 522-2046, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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