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CAER Seminars

Automobile Lean-Burn Emissions and Fuel Economy

Bob McCabe
Ford Research and Advanced Engineering

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:00 am
Ben Bandy Conference Room
UK Center for Applied Energy Research

Increasing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions and the need for both fuel conservation and sustainability has triggered accelerated research within the automobile industry toward the development of vehicles with higher fuel economy. At the same time, regulatory agencies worldwide are continuing to push for lower and lower vehicle emissions of regulated exhaust pollutants (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter). It has long been recognized that these are competing goals: the lowest emissions are not readily obtained under conditions that favor high fuel economy, and vice versa. Lean-burn (both for gasoline and diesel applications) is a prime example of technology that offers significant fuel economy benefits but carries daunting emission challenges – especially control of NOx emissions. I will show examples of our emissions research at Ford that address various approaches for achieving low NOx emissions while minimizing trade-offs with fuel economy. I will also touch on the engineering skills that are needed to develop optimized combustion, controls, and catalytic strategies.