Dual fuel burner

Jun 24, 2010

The new bi-fuel research truck on campus is plain white on the outside, but its dual nature is revealed when the hood is up, exposing its ability to run on gasoline and bio-methane.

It doesn’t have flames painted along the sides like the old ethanol truck, but it is a new research vehicle on campus.  Like its big blue predecessor, it will run on a bio-fuel as well as gasoline. Unlike its predecessor, it will run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

To accomplish this dual fuel use, Kettering called on one of its alums to help out. Rebecca Royer ’81, owner and president of Baytech Corp., was on campus in April to install a kit which allows the new (plain white) truck to run on both natural gas and gasoline. The natural gas is stored in a tank in the truck bed and is piped into the engine bay, ending at the top of the engine.

The on-board computer switches automatically between gasoline and natural gas while driving. Because the composition of natural gas and bio-methane are so similar, the truck should run well with bio-methane in the tank instead of natural gas, according to Nolan McCann, research assistant to Brenda Lemke and Dr. Ahmad Pourmovahed, professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Kettering researchers plan to run the vehicle on the bio-methane produced from the Flint Wastewater Treatment Plant and Swedish Biogas project. The Swedish Biogas PRoject will produce alternative energy from waste removed from the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The project is a collaboration of Swedish Biogas International (SBI), Kettering University, and the city of Flint, with support from the C.S. Mott Foundation, Swedish agencies, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Baytech Corp. is based in Los Altos, Calif. (http://www.baytechcorp.com/). Founded in 1991, it is the leader in engineering high performance, EPA and CARB certified CNG fuel injection systems for Chevrolet, GMC, Isuzu and Workhorse Custom Chassis vehicles that meet stringent emissions standards.

Contact: Dawn Hibbard