U of M receives $1.1 million for natural gas engines research

The project will be conducted using a cooperative fuel research engine in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.The project will be conducted using a cooperative fuel research engine in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The University of Minnesota has received $1.1 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) for a project that will advance low-temperature combustion technologies to improve efficiency in natural gas engines.  

The project, led by Professor Will Northrop, director of the U’s Thomas E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory, will include co-investigators at Carnegie Mellon University and Johnson Matthey. It is one of three projects recently funded by the DOE as part of a $4 million effort to support research focused on medium- and heavy-duty on-road natural gas engines.

A DOE press release about the funding awards explains that, because of abundant domestic supplies, the United States could increase energy security by using low-cost natural gas as an alternative to other energy sources—such as diesel engines—for transporting goods.

Research such as Northrop’s could help cost-effectively achieve diesel-like efficiency in natural gas engines while still meeting emissions standards, which will ultimately improve the affordability of natural-gas fueled vehicles, according to the DOE.


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