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Technical Paper

Fuel Tank and Charcoal Canister Fire Hazards during EVAP System Leak Testing

The combination of on-board diagnostics and evaporative emission control (EVAP) systems has led to a growing need to identify and repair leaks in automotive EVAP systems. The normal leakfinding method involves purging the system with a smoke fluid, usually air or nitrogen containing an oil aerosol and then looking for a visual indication of the leak. The purge flow used to distribute smoke through the system displaces substantial amounts of fuel vapor from the tank vapor space and can also raise the oxygen level inside the fuel system. If any ignition source is present, the formation of flammable mixtures both inside and outside the vehicle systems can lead to a flash fire hazard associated with leak finding procedures. Currently available fire statistics (such as NFPA) are not sufficiently detailed to attribute service shop fires to specific testing procedures.
Technical Paper

Design and Development of the 2003 University of Alberta Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The 2003 University of Alberta FutureTruck team is converting a 2002 Ford Explorer to be a pre-transmission, parallel Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV). The goals for the FutureTruck competition are to achieve increased fuel economy, while reducing emissions and maintaining the functionality of the stock SUV. The University of Alberta design places a 2.0L Zetec engine, running on E85, in parallel with a Unique Mobility brushless DC motor. In the Explorer the engine and motor will have peak power outputs of 110 kW and 60 kW. The motor will draw electricity from a nominal 200V lithium ion battery pack that is in parallel with ultracapacitor banks. Further modifications integrate this drive train into the vehicle and use control logic to provide a seamless, customer friendly package.
Technical Paper

Tailpipe Emissions Comparison Between Propane and Natural Gas Forklifts

It is commonly stated that natural gas-fueled forklifts produce less emissions than propane-fueled forklifts. However, there is relatively little proof. This paper reports on a detailed comparative study at one plant in Edmonton, Canada where a fleet of forklift trucks is used for indoor material movement. (For convenience, the acronym NGV, ie. Natural Gas Vehicle is used to designate natural gas-fueled and LPG, ie. Liquified Petroleum Gas, is used to designate propane-fueled forklifts). Until recently the forklift trucks (of various ages) were LPG carburetted units with two-way catalytic converters. Prompted partially by worker health concerns, the forklifts were converted to fuel injected, closed-loop controlled NGV systems with three-way catalytic converters. The NGV-converted forklifts reduced emissions by 77% (NOX) and 76% (CO) when compared to just-tuned LPG forklifts.
Technical Paper

Emissions Effects of Alternative Fuels in Light-Duty and Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Energy supply and environmental concerns have led to interest in alternative transportation fuels and power-trains. Already, there are significant changes in mainstream gasoline and Diesel formulation to accommodate tighter emissions standards. Some alternative fuels are being promoted as “cleaner” replacements for gasoline and Diesel fuel. There are many research papers which present data on these different alternative fuels, yet it is difficult to compare the fuels with any confidence. The majority of published studies do not use consistent methodology and make many assumptions (which may or may not be reported). Based on an extensive literature review, this study presents emissions results drawn from a smaller number of papers which provide alternative fuel and conventional emissions data in a comparable manner. Both light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles are considered.