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Emissions Testing to Expand

Truck and Bus Emissions Testing to Expand

A new dynamometer and digital environmental library will be dedicated Wednesday at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT)

(April 8, 2010)

The home of the heavy-duty vehicle chassis dynamometer

The home of the heavy-duty vehicle chassis dynamometer

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - ( - A new laboratory facility at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) will allow researchers to simulate real-world driving conditions to test truck and bus emissions.

The heavy-duty vehicle chassis dynamometer - a computer controlled set of motors and analyzers that mimics driving conditions, road grades and cargo loads and provides emission readings - will be dedicated Wednesday.

"This addition will significantly expand our laboratory and measurement capabilities and help us continue our role as leading experts in the field of emissions research," said CE-CERT Director Matthew Barth.

Also on Wednesday, CE-CERT's new Digital Environmental Library will be dedicated in memory of the late Helen O. Petrauskas, the first female vice president at Ford Motor Company. Ford's contributions were key to CE-CERT's early success. Susan M. Cischke, Ford's vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, is scheduled to participate in the ceremony.

The public is invited to the dedication at 4 p.m. at CE-CERT, 1084 Columbia Ave., Riverside.

The heavy-duty dynamometer, one of about a half-dozen in the country, will simulate on-road driving conditions for any big rig. It applies the appropriate loads to a vehicle to simulate factors such as the friction of the roadway and wind resistance that it would experience under typical driving. Previously, large diesel engines were removed from vehicles for dynamometer testing.

This is the latest step in CE-CERT's vehicle emissions research, that includes thousands of vehicle emissions tests have been conducted using its light-duty vehicle dynamometer, heavy duty engine dynamometer mobile and portable emissions laboratories over 15 years.

The first research with the heavy-duty dynamometer will be a comparison of federally mandated diesel fuel
formulas versus the stricter formulations required in California.

The work, for the California Air Resources Board, will determine whether California's stricter guidelines are necessary in light of recent technological advances in trucks, said Tom Durbin, an assistant research engineer in CE-CERT's vehicle emissions research group. The program will study 10 heavy-duty trucks with several different fuels.

CE-CERT also has a contract to test heavy-duty natural gas vehicles for three agencies: the California Energy Commission, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District. The testing will aim to determine whether natural gas with different compositions can impact the performance and emissions of vehicles, Durbin said.

CE-CERT is also planning to work with the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to study and implement advanced heavy-duty vehicle technologies, such as electric and hybrid electric vehicles, Durbin said.


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