21 January 2000

San Antonio, TX,-based Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has formed a consortium aimed at improving the ability of test equipment to consistently measure vehicle exhaust emissions at extremely low levels, such as required by increasingly more stringent engine and vehicle emission regulations.

The consortium, called "IMPROVE" (Investigating Measurement Precision and Repeatability Of Vehicle Emissions), will examine technologies and procedures that can be quickly and cost-effectively added to existing vehicle emission test equipment. It also will evaluate alternative or novel technologies and procedures which hold promise for significantly reducing measurement variability at very low pollutant levels.

"Cost-effective measurement of the very low pollutant levels from vehicles capable of meeting future emissions standards will require improvements to test equipment and procedures," says Bill DiSilverio, research engineer in SwRI's Automotive Products and Emissions Research Division.

Several manufacturers of emission test equipment already have agreed to allow SwRI to evaluate their products, including emission test benches and advanced technology concepts. SwRI is soliciting additional members for the consortium.

Membership will allow companies to determine the steps needed to retrofit their equipment to minimize test variability, and to evaluate the next generation of emissions test equipment, in an open and cooperative forum.

The IMPROVE consortium plans a kick-off meeting in late February or early March. Questions may be directed to Bill DiSilverio at 210-522-5872, fax 210-522-3950, email bdisilverio@swri.org. The consortium Web site address is www.swri.org/improve.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with a staff of 2,700 and an annual research volume of $304 million.

Source: SwRI