Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI launches International Alternative Fuel Technology Center

Sept. 8, 2011 — Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) launched a collaborative effort to assist our clients to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to address governmental mandates for alternative fuel production and tightened emissions standards. SwRI's new International Alternative Fuel Technology Center (IAFTC) will maximize the Institute's decades-long expertise in fuels and fluids.

The new center draws from a variety of disciplines at the Institute to offer all alternative fuels capabilities under one umbrella, providing original equipment manufacturers and fuel suppliers a comprehensive approach to resolve their technical challenges.

"Through the IAFTC, Southwest Research Institute can do everything for the client from the initial concepts and development testing at the bench scale, through operational evaluation, commercialization and registration with the Environmental Protection Agency," said Robert Fanick, a manager in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division. "Many companies offer one or two aspects of alternative fuels research and development. But there are few companies that can offer the full spectrum of services that we can."

With more than 60 years of experience in fuel and engine research and development, SwRI is uniquely positioned as an international expert in the research, development and evaluation of alternative and renewable fuels such as those from shale, tar sands, coal, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel and synthetic paraffins. Its staff has extensive knowledge of preparing and analyzing conventional and alternative fuels and will blend field experience, engineering and chemistry skills with design and fabrication capabilities to offer an interdisciplinary approach to fuel-related services.

SwRI laboratories are outfitted with state-of-the-art instrumentation and equipment to perform fluids processing and analysis safely and efficiently. Process technology capabilities include a Fuels Processing Center with laboratory-scale unit process equipment, quantitative and qualitative analytical support and drum-scale pilot plants.

The Institute's engineers, scientists and technicians bring extensive experience in all facets of alternative fuels research and development to each project, including alternative fuel formulation to required specification, biodiesel fuel analysis and evaluation, aviation fuels and hydrocarbon processing. They regularly conduct process evaluations, fluids testing and qualification, fleet and field evaluations, fuels performance evaluations, and fuels applications testing and evaluation.

"We have the research support, engineering, equipment and facilities to support clients, whether they are start-ups or established international companies, in all facets of alternative fuels development and research," Fanick said.

For more information about the International Alternative Fuels Technology Center, visit or contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.