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About the Center for Diesel Research. . .


The University of Minnesota Department of Mechanical Engineering established a Center for Diesel Research in 1996 under the directorship of Prof. David Kittelson. Its functions include serving the diesel engine, automotive, and the alternative fuels industries. The Center specializes in the physical and chemical characterization of exhaust emissions, evaluation of emission controls, evaluation and demonstration of alternative fuels, certification of on- and off-highway engines, and the evaluation of control technology in the field. The Center has unique capabilities to characterize exhaust aerosols.

The University's acquisition of a state-of-the-art laboratory facility was made possible by the closing of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Mines. Specialized equipment and instrumentation available at the Center include: engine test cells for engines from 10 to 600 hp, a system capable of simulating engine operation up to 15,000 ft. above sea level, and computer controlled dynamometers capable of simulating many transient and steady-state duty cycles. Test cycles routinely run in the lab include ISO 8178 tests, Federal Smoke Cycle, European heavy-duty EEC 88/77 on-highway test (R-49), Environmental Protection Agency's 40 CFR Part 79 transient cycle for fuel registration, and Part 89 certification test for off-highway engines.

The labs are equipped to measure regulated and unregulated gaseous emissions, with a specialty of characterizing exhaust particulate matter. Instrumentation includes: a suite of Pierburg instruments for monitoring CO, CO2, NO, NOx, HC's and O2 and a suite of aerosol instruments: Sierra Instruments' Model BG-1 Micro-Dilution Test Stand for particulate mass, micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor, electrical aerosol analyzer, condensation nuclei counter, diffusion battery and differential mobility analyzer for of measuring particle size distributions. Particulate matter analysis is carried out in a Class-300 clean room.

The Center is currently working for the Coordinating Research Council to compare laboratory measurement of diesel exhaust particulate (which has been the diesel engine regulatory focus for the past 13 years) to real-world measurement of particle size distribution by mass and number. Also, the Center was the first laboratory to complete a diesel engine certification under the Mine Safety and Health Administration's new 30 CFR Part 7 rule for underground mines. To date, 14 different diesel engines have been Part 7 approved. Clients such as American Isuzu Motors, Caterpillar, Deutz Corp., Donaldson Co., and General Motors are working with the Center.

The center staff also has capabilities and experience in conducting and evaluating field demonstrations, conducting surveys within the diesel industry, and preparing economic evaluations/comparisons of alternative fuels and of emissions control devices.

In addition to serving commercial clients, the University faculty and students use the Center to develop new technology designed to reduce engine exhaust emissions in both confined and open environments. The Center offers unique research and educational opportunities for engineering students, outreach programs, and workshops.


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Last modified: 27 May 2000