Navistar demonstrates dual-fuel protoype at the Mid-America Trucking Show

Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) has continued its leadership in alternative fueled vehicles with the demonstration of a prototype 2011 International® ProStar®+ powered by a 13-liter MaxxForce® dual fuel engine—diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG), at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.
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According to the Navistar news release, the dual-fuel 13-liter MaxxForce engine includes minimal changes to the stock diesel engine other than the addition of a natural gas injection system supplied by San Diego based Clean Air Power.

Fact is, this prototype is the direct result of the partnership with Clean Air Power Ltd., a developer and provider of the Dual-Fuel™ combustion technology for heavy duty diesel engines.

Dual-Fuel™ engines substantially cut fuel costs and carbon emissions without sacrificing the original engine's characteristic efficiency or reliability. Clean Air Power touts that it is well positioned to assist corporations and governments to deliver on their environmental commitments while at the same time reducing overhead for transport operators.

Navistar is the builder and tester of the 2011 International ProStar+ 122-inch BBC tractor with a 430 horsepower, 1,550 lb-ft dual fuel MaxxForce 13-liter engine. From an investment perspective, Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco® RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts.

“Recognizing the abundant supply of natural gas in the United States and Canada, we feel compelled to invest in our products in such a way that enables our customers to expand their usage of very low emissions technologies through our engines,” said Jim Hebe, senior vice president, North American sales operations, Navistar. “The use of natural gas certainly accomplishes this …”

Of course, changes to the chassis included the addition of a 26-inch diameter, 119-gallon standard LNG tank that provides a 400 mile range (644 kms), a coolant heated fuel vaporizer, and an LNG regulator and filter. Navistar is currently working with the EPA to define the regulatory requirements of an EPA compliant dual fuel engine, but the recent amendments to regulations will make that process much easier.

The engine uses diesel pilot injection for combustion on the compression stroke and mixes air and LNG on the intake stroke. The result is an engine that runs on a mixture of 15 percent diesel and 85 percent natural gas.

Navistar has also recently demonstrated compressed natural gas (CNG) versions of its DuraStar and WorkStar trucks. Also for the record, Navistar has at its disposal one of the broadest line-ups of alternative fueled vehicles in the industry.

In a related announcement, Navisator received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its 2011 model year MaxxForce® DT mid-range diesel engine at 0.39g/bHpHr NOx using Navistar's in-cylinder NOx reduction technology. This certification represents a 22 percent emissions reduction from the original 0.50g/bHpHr certification and demonstrates progress to achieving the 0.20g/bHpHr standard through base engine and in-cylinder optimization.

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About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks and writes articles, books and ebooks via authorfrank.com, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]

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Additional Reading:
EPA sets milestone for alternate fuel industry with regulation amendments
Buick LaCrosse with eAssist on par with highway fuel economy of compacts
Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine technology setting up to challenge electric hybrids
Cella Energy achievement may make hydrogen fill-up a reality
Stop-start technology to advance more micro hybrids by 2016
Four alternate engine technologies for 2011 and beyond


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