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Effect of Intake Air Filter Condition on Vehicle Fuel Economy

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly maintain a fuel economy website (www.fueleconomy.gov), which helps fulfill their responsibility under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to provide accurate fuel economy information [in miles per gallon (mpg)] to consumers. The site provides information on EPA fuel economy ratings for passenger cars and light trucks from 1985 to the present and other relevant information related to energy use such as alternative fuels and driving and vehicle maintenance tips. In recent years, fluctuations in the price of crude oil and corresponding fluctuations in the price of gasoline and diesel fuels have renewed interest in vehicle fuel economy in the United States. (User sessions on the fuel economy website exceeded 20 million in 2008 compared to less than 5 million in 2004 and less than 1 million in 2001.) As a result of this renewed interest and the age of some of the references cited in the tips section of the website, DOE authorized the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Fuels, Engines, and Emissions Research Center (FEERC) to initiate studies to validate and improve these tips. This report documents a study aimed specifically at the effect of engine air filter condition on fuel economy. The goal of this study was to explore the effects of a clogged air filter on the fuel economy of vehicles operating over prescribed test cycles. Three newer vehicles (a 2007 Buick Lucerne, a 2006 Dodge Charger, and a 2003 Toyota Camry) and an older carbureted vehicle were tested. Results show that clogging the air filter has no significant effect on the fuel economy of the newer vehicles (all fuel injected with closed-loop control and one equipped with MDS). The engine control systems were able to ...
Date: February 1, 2009
Creator: Norman, Kevin M; Huff, Shean P & West, Brian H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fuel Economy and Emissions of a Vehicle Equipped with an Aftermarket Flexible-Fuel Conversion Kit

Description: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants Certificates of Conformity for alternative fuel conversion systems and also offers other forms of premarket registration of conversion kits for use in vehicles more than two model years old. Use of alternative fuels such as ethanol, natural gas, and propane are encouraged by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) produce emissions-certified vehicles capable of using alternative fuels, and several alternative fuel conversion system manufacturers produce EPA-approved conversion systems for a variety of alternative fuels and vehicle types. To date, only one manufacturer (Flex Fuel U.S.) has received EPA certifications for ethanol fuel (E85) conversion kits. This report details an independent evaluation of a vehicle with a legal installation of a Flex Fuel U.S. conversion kit. A 2006 Dodge Charger was baseline tested with ethanol-free certification gasoline (E0) and E20 (gasoline with 20 vol % ethanol), converted to flex-fuel operation via installation of a Flex Box Smart Kit from Flex Fuel U.S., and retested with E0, E20, E50, and E81. Test cycles included the Federal Test Procedure (FTP or city cycle), the highway fuel economy test (HFET), and the US06 test (aggressive driving test). Averaged test results show that the vehicle was emissions compliant on E0 in the OEM condition (before conversion) and compliant on all test fuels after conversion. Average nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions exceeded the Tier 2/Bin 5 intermediate life NO{sub X} standard with E20 fuel in the OEM condition due to two of three test results exceeding this standard [note that E20 is not a legal fuel for non-flexible-fuel vehicles (non-FFVs)]. In addition, one E0 test result before conversion and one E20 test result after conversion exceeded the NOX standard, although the average result in these two cases was below the standard. Emissions of ethanol and ...
Date: April 1, 2012
Creator: Thomas, John F; Huff, Shean P & West, Brian H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical Issues Associated With the Use of Intermediate Ethanol Blends (>E10) in the U.S. Legacy Fleet

Description: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in assessing the impact of using intermediate ethanol blends (E10 to E30) in the legacy fleet of vehicles in the U.S. fleet. The purpose of this report is to: (1) identify the issues associated with intermediate ethanol blends with an emphasis on the end-use or vehicle impacts of increased ethanol levels; (2) assess the likely severity of the issues and whether they will become more severe with higher ethanol blend levels, or identify where the issue is most severe; (3) identify where gaps in knowledge exist and what might be required to fill those knowledge gaps; and (4) compile a current and complete bibliography of key references on intermediate ethanol blends. This effort is chiefly a critical review and assessment of available studies. Subject matter experts (authors and selected expert contacts) were consulted to help with interpretation and assessment. The scope of this report is limited to technical issues. Additional issues associated with consumer, vehicle manufacturer, and regulatory acceptance of ethanol blends greater than E10 are not considered. The key findings from this study are given.
Date: August 1, 2007
Creator: Rich, Bechtold; Thomas, John F; Huff, Shean P; Szybist, James P; West, Brian H; Theiss, Timothy J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department