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Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory -- December 2010
Date:12/1/2010

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BIODIESEL -- Ultrasonic remedy . . .

A significant barrier to greater use of biodiesel could be blasted away with a proprietary approach developed by a team of researchers led by Mike Kass of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Energy and Transportation Science Division. By using a high-intensity dose of ultrasonic energy, Kass and colleagues have demonstrated that they can remove or prevent the formation of precipitates, or solids, in biofuels. "Biodiesel forms invisible precipitates at temperatures approaching 41 degrees Fahrenheit," Kass said. "These precipitates cause plugging of filters and lines and are one of the leading concerns associated with expanded use of biodiesel." Co-inventors are Sam Lewis and Maggie Connatser. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

TRANSPORTATION -- Single-wides save fuel . . .

Tractor-trailer trucks may leave a different "footprint" in the near future. Heavy trucks outfitted with single wide-based tires instead of the conventional dual tires are more fuel efficient, according to a study sponsored by DOE's Office of Vehicle Technologies. A paper from DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory reports that Class 8 heavy trucks equipped with new-generation wide-based single tires--instead of the familiar dual tires--get markedly better mileage, which improves as more single-tires are installed on the truck. Fuel economy improved around 6 percent when either the tractor or the trailer was equipped with the single-wides and more than 9 percent when
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Contact: Morgan McCorkle
mccorkleml@ornl.gov
865-574-7308
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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