April 2000

Advanced Propulsion Center is ORNL’s latest DOE user facility

ORNL’s latest addition to its list of user facilities is the Advanced Propulsion Technology Center. The center is one of 17 user facilities available to researchers inside and outside ORNL that encourage collaborative efforts among ORNL, private industry and institutions.

The center, located at Y-12 with most of the hosting Engineering Technology Division’s facilities, specializes in the detailed characterization of internal combustion engine emissions and efficiency. Directed by ETD’s Ron Graves, the center does work for the DOE Office of Transportation Technologies in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, other federal agencies and outside institutions upon DOE approval.

The facility’s comprehensive capabilities include tabletop engine exhaust simulators, single and multicylinder engines and full vehicles. The center boasts several special diagnostic and measurement tools—including many rarely found at other facilities around the country—that aid in development and evaluation of engine and emission control technologies.

Current R&D projects at the center include determining the effects of fuel sulfur on diesel emissions controls, ignition phenomena, diesel and gasoline engine particle emissions, advanced engine control strategies, and catalyst surface diagnostics.

ORNL’s Office of Science and Technology Partnerships coordinates these efforts. Six cooperative R&D agreements (CRADAs) currently exist between the newly designated DOE national user center and outside institutions.—Fred Strohl