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Rail News: Mechanical

Illinois college obtains federal grant to study locomotive fuel usage, emissions


Northern Illinois University's (NIU) College of Engineering and Engineering Technology recently received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help the U.S. rail industry find ways to improve locomotive fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

The college has partnered with Norfolk Southern Railway to facilitate the project.

Faculty teams, assisted by students, will explore fuel cells to power long-haul road locomotives, focusing on high-temperature fuel cells; alternative fuels, such as bio-diesel; alternative materials, including ceramics, high strength steel and aluminum, titanium and composites, to improve the durability and performance of diesel locomotives; and methods to reduce emissions and heat loss.

A team of nine NIU engineering professors also will study the efficiency of current rail lubricants to reduce wear and increase operating efficiency under diverse conditions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/3/2008