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Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions


CAFEE is a global leader in the research and development of the concepts and technologies necessary to improve transportation and power systems while working toward a cleaner environment.

CAFEE's staff works extensively on emissions reduction research -- particularly engine technologies, post-combustion technologies, after-treatment evaluation, and fuel technologies.

CAFEE's engineers collaborate with industry, regulators, academia and international research organizations to address technology barriers through discovery and innovation.

Advanced Engine and After-treatment Research and Development

CAFEE is teaming up with a global engine manufacturer on a project that will focus on integrating advanced engine and after-treatment technology with the manufacturer’s hybrid powertrain to produce and demonstrate a technology package with ultra-low emissions for heavy-duty drayage truck operation.

Using its expertise in the laboratory and in the field, CAFEE will develop and assess measurement approaches and instrumentation to quantify emissions, particularly oxides of nitrogen (NOx), at the expected ultra-low levels. This approach will demonstrate the near-zero emissions potential of the proposed technology.

Specifically, CAFEE will assist with engine and vehicle testing, exhaust after-treatment system controls development, hardware calibration, and detailed emissions characterization with its state-of-the-art heavy-duty engine- and chassis-dynamometer facilities.

In addition to this work, CAFEE will use its expertise to assist in technology simulation and engine-system modeling.

Advanced Combustion Research

A 3d model of an optical engine

Research in WVU's Advanced Combustion Laboratory (ACL) will be directed toward increasing the understanding of fundamental combustion processes in power-generation applications. Specifically, ACL will investigate the interaction between the power-generating systems, the combustion strategy, and the composition and property of the fuel.

At WVU, natural gas and other shale gas-derived fuels (and their blends with other renewable and/or unconventional fuels) are a priority interest. The experimental data acquired in the lab will increase the utilization of shale gas by providing engineers with the necessary tools to design cleaner, more fuel-efficient power-generation systems. Target applications are internal combustion engines used in transportation, natural gas compressor stations, off-road applications, and power generation.

ACL research will investigate conventional and advanced combustion strategies by formulating and studying well-characterized fuels made from shale gas stocks, commercial blending stocks, and pure compounds.

ACL optical investigations will provide high-quality data that will be used by both WVU and industry to develop computational models of air-and-fuel mixing processes, flame ignition, stabilization and extinction, flame propagation, acoustics, and pollutant formation. These models will be integrated into the next generation of engineering computational tools for the design of advanced, high-efficiency combustion systems that use shale-gas derived fuels and their blends with various evolving fuels.   

On-board Diagnostics Research

The Advanced On-board Diagnostics (A-OBD) Development and Demonstration Platform will be a fully instrumented heavy-duty diesel (HDD) truck that will perform real-time measurements of multiple engine parameters through dedicated sensors.  The platform will serve as source of real-time data of various critical engine parameters.  The platform will allow CAFEE researchers to

A second variation of the A-OBD platform will be completely dedicated to after-treatment system monitoring. CAFEE engineers will research proof-of-concept exhaust after-treatment systems and their performance under real-world driving conditions.  This platform will also be coupled with an open urea injection control module, in order to research different injection strategies to achieve maximum NOx reduction while lowering undesirable emissions such as ammonia, nitrates, and cyanuric acid.

One of the major advantages of this platform is the ability to conduct real-world aging and failure studies of after-treatment systems and the ability to understand the unique signature of a specific type of failure of the system. 

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