Luján Announces $1.2 Million Grant for LANL to Improve Energy Efficiency of Vehicles

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District announced Tuesday that Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is receiving a $1.2 million grant through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Vehicles Technology program. 

The program is investing in three new projects that focus on increasing the efficiency of engines and powertrain systems for future highway transportation vehicles. 

The federal government will contribute $1.2 million to the project, while the private sector will invest $300,000.

LANL will use the grant to develop a low cost and robust nitrogen oxide/ammonia sensor package that can be used in all lean burn engine applications. 

The design simplicity of this unique sensor when compared to state of the art technology can dramatically reduce the complexity – and therefore improve durability – and reduce the cost of nitrogen oxide sensors. 

This can lead to their widespread use in engine and catalyst control systems and engine feedback systems.

“As one of three recipients of these grants, LANL will play an important role in the effort to increase vehicle efficiency, thereby reducing carbon emissions and our reliance on oil,” Luján said. “With President Obama’s actions to increase fuel efficiency standards, investments in technology that can lead to important breakthroughs are vital to achieving these goals that will help drivers save money at the gas pump.”

All of the projects will focus on new innovations that achieve breakthrough thermal efficiencies while meeting federal emission standards for passenger vehicles – cars and light trucks – as well as commercial vehicles, including long-haul tractor trailers. 

They will advance technologies for engines and powertrains that will help automakers and truck engine manufacturers achieve higher efficiencies while meeting or exceeding the vehicle fuel economy standards intended to help reduce U.S. demand for oil imports and save consumers money at the pump.

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