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SwRI holds fifth clean diesel consortium kick-off meeting

Oct. 31, 2007 – Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) will launch its fifth cooperative research program aimed at reducing diesel engine emissions with a kickoff meeting Thursday, Nov. 8. The consortium, known as Clean Diesel V, comprises more than 40 members, including light, heavy-duty, and off-road engine manufacturers, component suppliers, and oil and fuel companies.

Building on 16 years of successful clean diesel programs at SwRI, the newest four-year effort will seek to improve diesel emissions technology to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's stringent 2010 emissions goals. The initial meeting will take place at the Institute's headquarters in San Antonio.

"The ultimate goal is to develop technologies that will allow the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to produce the most efficient and most cost-effective engines that will meet the current and future emissions regulations," said Dr. Thomas Ryan, an Institute engineer in SwRI's Engine, Emissions and Vehicle Research Division.

The program is designed to develop new diesel technologies for consortium members with the primary objective of reducing oxides of nitrogen (NOx) to 0.2 gram/horsepower-hour (g/hp-hr) and particulates to 0.01 g/hp-hr.

Consortium participants will determine which projects are undertaken from among a number of Institute-suggested projects. SwRI engineers and scientists recommend areas of interest based on SwRI's extensive automotive-related experience and on work performed during the four earlier clean diesel consortia.

"It is likely that four or five projects will come forward," Ryan said, adding that typically projects are added, completed or extended according to participant recommendations. "Technology developed during earlier clean diesel programs will be brought forward as needed, but we will be working toward different, more stringent efficiency and cost goals."

Possible projects include full operating range homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engine development, dilute diffusion combustion engine development, expansion of the advanced SwRI low temperature combustion technology and integration of cost-effective aftertreatment systems.

The consortium is designed to develop pre-competition technologies that member companies can incorporate into their products. Heavy-duty emissions goals are the U.S. 2010 and Euro VI on-road and Tier IV off-road standards. Light-duty emissions goals are the U.S. Tier 2, Bin 5 and Euro VI, with the U.S. Tier 2, Bin 2 as a stretch goal.

The 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 with funding from a single member. In addition, SwRI's internally funded 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.

The Institute will pursue patent applications for technology developed during the Clean Diesel V program, and consortium participants will receive a royalty-free license to use the technology.

SwRI has introduced the program to European, Asian and U.S. companies. Interested parties unable to attend the kickoff meeting may join Clean Diesel V at any time, and contracts are renewable annually.

For more information contact Robert Leibold, at (210) 522-2258, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.