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SwRI gets $25 million boost from EPA for vehicle emissions testing

Credit: SwRI
Credit: SwRI
The Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has received a five-year, $25 million (€22.7 million) contract from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide testing and analytical services related to vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency.

Under the contract, SwRI will evaluate all types of fuels and additives, including conventional and reformulated gasoline and diesel fuels. Engineers will study alternative fuels such as methanol, ethanol, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), hydrogen and blends of hydrocarbon fuels, as well as electrified powertrains for cars, heavy-duty trucks and off-road vehicles.

“The scope of this contract is quite broad,” commented Patrick Merritt, programme manager in SwRI’s Powertrain Engineering Division. “It encompasses fuels and lubricants effects and engine and emissions characterisations, as well as economic studies, general rule-making support and coordinating peer review meetings.”

Under the ‘Testing and Analytical Services for Regulation of Motor Vehicles, Engines, and Fuels and Fuel Additives’ contract, SwRI will conduct emissions characterisation and technology assessment. The contract follows previous emissions research for the EPA; in 2015, SwRI won a similar five-year, $20 million (€18.1 million) contract.

“We develop advanced technology to minimize emissions while increasing the efficiency and reliability of cars and heavy-duty vehicles,” Merritt continued. “Some of this work is developmental, but the agency has to have as much data as possible to formulate industry standards. SwRI helps to clean the air in the US and throughout the world as other countries begin to adapt emission standards modelled after the EPA standards.

“The contract touches nearly all areas of engine and vehicle research at Southwest Research Institute. Our diverse expertise enables us to perform science, engineering and support functions in one location rather than having to rely on external laboratories. Our long history and extensive expertise in engines, powertrains, fuels, lubricants and electrification means we can provide the support requested in a very timely manner all in one location.”
Credit: SwRI