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New Cummins engine built for E-85

July 16, 2014, Columbus, Ind. - Cummins Inc. announced the development of an engine and powertrain that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by as much as 80 percent compared with a baseline gasoline-powered medium-duty truck. The Cummins ETHOS 2.8L is designed specifically to use E-85, a clean-burning blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.


July 16, 2014
By Canadian Biomass

Topics

July 16, 2014, Columbus, Ind. – Cummins Inc. announced the
development of an engine and powertrain that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions by as much as 80 percent compared with a baseline gasoline-powered
medium-duty truck. The Cummins ETHOS 2.8L is designed specifically to use E-85,
a clean-burning blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The work was jointly funded by Cummins in partnership with
the California Energy Commission (CEC).

 

To take
full advantage of the favorable combustion attributes and potential of E-85,
the engine operates at diesel-like cylinder pressures and incorporates advanced
spark-ignition technology. It delivers the power (up to 250 hp) and peak torque
(up to 450 lb-ft) of gasoline and diesel engines nearly twice its 2.8-liter
displacement.

 

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Using corn-derived E-85, the high thermal efficiency and
power-to-weight ratio of this engine results in 50 to 58 percent lower
well-to-wheels CO2 emissions compared with the gasoline engine baseline. Using
second-generation lignocellulosic-derived E-85, the powertrain's efficiency
features deliver an impressive 75 to 80 percent lower well-to-wheels CO2
emissions, depending on the drive cycle. Cellulosic E-85 is less intensive in
terms of land use, tilling, fertilizing and harvesting than corn-derived E-85.

 

More than 1,000 miles and 1,500 hours have been accumulated
on the ETHOS 2.8L engine over the past two-and-a-half years, demonstrating that
this technology is capable of far exceeding the 50 percent CO2 emissions
reductions outlined in the project's goals. A final on-road validation testing
phase has been underway in the Sacramento, California, area since June and
continuing into this month, and is being managed by Cummins Pacific, the
exclusive California and Hawaii distributor for Cummins Inc.

 

"The Cummins ETHOS engine, developed through a research
partnership with CEC, clearly demonstrates that by combining innovative engine
design and combustion approaches with low-carbon alternative fuels, we can
determine a path to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,"
said Wayne Eckerle, Cummins Vice President – Research and Technology.

 

The Cummins ETHOS 2.8L engine also incorporates an
integrated stop-start system, which further reduces fuel consumption and
emissions. In stop-start mode, the engine shuts down after the vehicle comes to
a complete stop and the brake pedal remains depressed. As the driver's foot is
lifted from the brake, the system automatically starts the engine to seamlessly
allow acceleration from the stop.

 

Cummins-integrated specific system controls, along with a
robust starter, smart alternator and sensors, are all designed to handle the
additional stop-start duty cycle and maintain reliable operation over the life
of the engine. Cummins also worked closely with Allison Transmission® to
integrate the 2000 Series transmission for smooth and efficient stop-start
operation. The transmission is equipped with hydraulic circulation features to
ensure smooth operation and quick vehicle launch during stop-start driving.

 

Additional partners in the project included Valvoline,®
which provided NextGen® engine oils specifically designed for lower CO2
emissions, and Freightliner Custom Chassis, which provided a prototype MT45
Class 5 step-van vehicle.

 

Although not in high-volume production today, cellulosic
ethanol represents a promising production pathway for future fuels. This
demonstrates that significant reductions in GHG emissions can be achieved with
current commercially available E-85 fuels, with even greater potential in the
future when cellulosic ethanol technology matures and becomes mainstream.

 


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