26 September 1998

The US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced a new energy and environmental technology developed at Argonne National Laboratory that should enable diesel engines to operate cleaner and more efficiently. The announcement took place during the official dedication of the new Transportation Technology R&D Center at Argonne National Laboratory.

The new technique improves the combustion process through changing oxygen levels and engine operating conditions. Particulate levels and nitrogen oxide emissions are decreased simultaneously. The new technology increases engine power as well.

According to Argonne, "NOx emissions and particulates were reduced significantly." However, the expected emission reduction potential of the technology was not mentioned.

The research has been done in cooperation with Electro-Motive Division of General Motors (EMD) and the research arm of the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

"This exciting, new clean diesel discovery is a major finding of Argonne's Transportation Technology R&D Center, which blends public- and private-sector talents and resources in pursuit of the common good," said Richardson during the dedication ceremonies for the Center. "This Center, this development and this teamwork form a model for 21st century research and development."

"This research is an excellent example of government-industry partnerships, and the results are the first of many we expect from this transportation technology center," Richardson said.

Diesel engines are the most efficient internal combustion engines, but the smoke and particulate emissions have prevented them from becoming a "clean" propulsion system. Interest in Argonne's new technology is further heightened because it is expected to be more cost effective than alternative exhaust control systems currently being developed.

Funding from the partners and DOE's Energy Research/Laboratory Technology Research Program provided the resources for the research. EMD also has a multi-year contract with Argonne's Transportation Technology R&D Center to improve the performance and emissions of its new four-stroke, 6,000-horsepower, direct-injection diesel locomotive "H-engine."

General Motors' Electro-Motive Division is a manufacturer of locomotives for freight and passenger trains. EMD also builds engines that produce power for marine propulsion, off-shore and land-based oil dwelling rigs, stationary power generation and off-highway vehicles.

The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. is a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR). AAR represents North America's major freight railroads and Amtrak. AAR conducts and coordinates research, development and other support programs; facilitates the exchange of electronic information among railroads, their customers and suppliers; and advocates the interests of railroads in the public policy arena.

Argonne is one of the nation's largest federally funded scientific laboratories. Argonne is is operated by the University of Chicago for the US Department of Energy.

Contact: Evelyn Brown (630/252-5510, eabrown@anl.gov) at Argonne or Paula McGhee (708/387-6650) at EMD.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory