Fuel efficiency grants

Two Argonne National Laboratory R&D projects have been selected to receive grants as part of an effort to improve the fuel efficiency of light-duty vehicle engines.


Two Argonne-based R&D projects have been selected to receive grants from the US Department of Energy (DOE) as part of an effort to improve the fuel efficiency of light-duty vehicle engines.



‘We expect this research to make significant strides toward maximising an engine’s performance in a cleaner, more economical manner,’ Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said, as he announced a series of awards totalling $21.5m nationwide for eleven cost-shared R&D projects.



Combined with industry investment, the eleven projects selected will total nearly $43m to support improvement of engine and combustion systems for the next generation of efficient vehicles.



One project, based out of Argonne’s TransportationTechnologyR&DCenter, will attempt to make flexible-fuel engines more efficient by using advanced engine technology with in-cylinder sensing technology to rapidly extract large quantities of information every time the engine ignites fuel.



This in-cylinder technology, called ionisation sensing, provides real-time data to engineers that may enable them to significantly reduce the size and improve the fuel economy of an engine without sacrificing power.



For this project, Argonne will partner with German engine manufacturer Mahle Powertrain, Michigan-based Visteon Corporation and MichiganStateUniversity. For this project, Argonne has been selected to receive up to $2.3m from the DOE, which will be matched in large part by investment from industry.



The DOE also announced funding for research in lubrication technology that will be performed in Argonne‘s Energy Systems Division.



The federal funds will support research into the use of very small particles of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a lubricant additive for motor oils. Scientists from the University of Arkansas, Caterpillar and nanoMech will also help to develop and test this new additive. The DOE will provide up to $491,000 for this research and Caterpillar will make a similar investment.