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US DOE awards $8.4M to 4 projects to improve engine and powertrain efficiency

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four projects for up to $8.4 million in awards over three to four years to develop and demonstrate technologies that increase the efficiency of engines and powertrain systems for future highway transportation vehicles.

The projects will focus on new innovations that achieve breakthrough thermal efficiencies while meeting federal emission standards for passenger vehicles—cars and light trucks, as well as commercial vehicles, including long-haul tractor trailers.

The projects will focus on developing and testing new technologies for engines and powertrains that could reduce cost and address technical barriers currently inhibiting the wider use of advanced engine technologies in the mass market. Projects will also validate technologies developed at the engine- or system-level to help ensure that these innovations can advance into broad commercial use at a scale needed to reduce vehicle fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions nationally.

The four projects selected for award are:

  • Filter Sensing Technologies, Inc., $2.0 million. Filter Sensing Technologies will develop and demonstrate low-cost, robust sensors and controls that can reduce the overall cost and complexity of engine and emission control systems, while delivering tangible performance benefits. The initial focus will be on US heavy-duty vehicles.

  • General Motors LLC, $1.4 million. General Motors will develop and demonstrate a novel technology that enables the use of high dilution in the combustion chamber significantly improving the fuel economy of vehicles compared to conventional engines.

  • Eaton Corporation, $2.5 million. Eaton will develop and demonstrate advanced component technology for heavy-duty diesel engine waste heat recovery systems that are capable of improving the fuel economy of heavy-duty vehicles.

MAHLE Powertrain LLC, $2.5 million. MAHLE will develop a next-generation combined ignition/turbo-charging concept that will enable the implementation of ultra lean-burn technology to engines, improving efficiency and significantly reducing the formation of pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

On 10 August 2011, DOE announced more than $175 million for advanced vehicle research and development projects. (Earlier post.)

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