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New research topic: Heavy-duty gasoline engines

Southwest Research Institute is trying to develop a high-efficiency, durable gasoline engine for heavy-duty applications.

The work will take place through a consortium known as Hedge (High-Efficiency, Durable Gasoline Engine). It will focus on one main integration engine and conduct three to four projects aimed at knock-resistant combustion chambers, high-energy ignition, and high brake mean-effective pressure (BMEP) operation. SwRI researchers also will share control algorithms and modified ignition combustion concepts with other consortium members.

Motivation for the project comes from the Environmental Protection Agency's post-2010 emission goals. Experts say meeting those goals may severely restrict the efficiency and cost advantages currently enjoyed by diesel engines. Strict emission rules may make gas engines with better combustion technology strong competitors in the heavy-duty market.

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