Energy-saving transportation project receives NYSERDA funding
Lawrence L. Tavlarides, professor of chemical engineering and materials science in the L. C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (LCS), has received $260,000 in funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to explore energy-saving transportation ideas. Other partners in this collaborative research project include BorgWarner Morse TEC, Caterpillar, Sandia National Laboratories and SU.
The collaboration involves working on a diesel engine fuel injection system that would create a supercritical mixture of fuel and carbon dioxide or recycled exhaust gas for a more efficient, less polluting engine. BorgWarner Morse is involved in developing the fluid injector while SU, Sandia National Laboratories and Caterpillar will oversee the injector’s testing. The current SU team comprises Tavlarides, research scientist George Anitescu and postdoctoral research associate Ronghong Lin.
The project stemmed from Tavlarides and Anitescu’s idea that diesel fuel could be injected as a vapor as opposed to liquid. This would eliminate the formation of microdroplets, resulting in a more efficient combustion process. Subsequently, a proposal was submitted to NYSERDA, which remains interested in transportation issues and increased efficiency of transportation processes.
NYSERDA has funded the project for over five years. The current grant amount is expected to address funding requirements for the next year and a half. Additionally, the collaboration partners are expected to match every dollar of NYSERDA funding.
The funding grant also brings added recognition to SU and LCS. “This impacts the college in terms of more support for graduate students, more collaboration with research scientists from other institutions, leading to further research,” Tavlarides says.
Tavlarides received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1963, 1964 and 1968 respectively. He was chairman, department of chemical engineering and materials science, at SU (1981-85). Additionally, he served as associate dean of graduate affairs and research at LCS (1995-96). He has worked as a research engineer with CPC International, Moffet Technical Center, Argo, Ill., and with the Gulf Research and Development Center. Tavlarides has extensive consulting experience with organizations such as Martin Marietta Energy Systems Inc.; Dow-Corning, USA; Dow Chemical Co., Inc.; Exxon Research and Engineering Co.; and Kraft, Inc., among others. He was recently named a fellow of the American Chemical Society for his contributions to research (2011); is recipient of the North American Mixing Forum (Division of AIChE) Award for Excellence in Research (2001); a Chancellor’s Citation Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement, SU (1994); fellow, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (1990); as well as the Shell Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Technical University of Delft (1968-69).