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ORNL aids diesel parts manufacturers

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 7, 2006 -- Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratorys High Temperature Materials Laboratory are helping diesel engine and parts manufacturers develop technologies to meet tough new emissions regulations that go into effect in 2007.

Laboratory researchers are helping companies characterize materials and test components as part of the industrys preparation for the new emissions mandates. The requirements will result in a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide, or NOX, and particulate matter, or soot, released by diesel vehicles, from semi-trucks to cars.

At HTML, commercial users have put to use the centers state-of-the-art instruments that analyze products for durability, resistance to heat and stress, thermal conductivity, mechanical behavior and other properties.

"Environmental Protection Agency regulations are pushing emissions control technology very hard, so that engine and emissions control equipment manufacturers require access to very sophisticated tools to develop this technology. Fortunately, our user facilities are well equipped to help them," said Arvid Pasto, director of the HTML.

Diesel engine-maker Cummins used HTMLs x-ray diffraction, raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy capabilities to better understand the properties of materials used in exhaust after-treatment systems. In addition to studying how catalysts can be adversely affected by sulfur and other gaseous exhaust components, Cummins and HTML worked together to characterize the fatigue life of cordierite diesel soot filters, which remove more than 98% of particulate emissions from diesel exhaust. These exhaust after-treatment devices are critical to meeting upcoming emissions requirements.

"Cummins utilizes HTMLs world class capabilities in materials characterization as well as the research knowledge the HTML staff has obtained from working on diverse engineering challenges. HTML's efforts are matched by Cu
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Contact: Larisa Brass
brasslm@ornl.gov
865-574-4163
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
7-Dec-2006


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