Diesel engines are known to be reliable and economical. In recent years, they have also significantly reduced the particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions through advanced emissions control systems. An unfortunate side effect of cleaning up diesel exhaust, however, can be a drop in fuel efficiency and a need to do diagnostics of whether the systems is operating in its design state.
Now, a partnership led by researchers at Michigan Technological University is addressing the problem. The three-year, $2.8 million project is being funded largely by a $1.7 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. Additional support and in-kind goods, services and expertise is provided by the partners from the diesel engine companies Cummins, John Deere, and Navistar; sensor manufacturer Watlow; and Johnson Matthey, a producer of diesel catalysts and pollution-control systems. Scientists at Oak Ridge and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories are also collaborating.