R&D Magazine recently recognized four technologies supported by the Vehicle Technologies Office as some of the most significant products introduced in the marketplace over the last year. The R&D 100 Awards, sometimes called the “Oscars of Innovation,” recognize industry, academic, and government-funded research projects for their technical significance, usefulness, and uniqueness. To be eligible for an award, the technology or process has to be in working, marketable condition and had to be first available for purchase or licensing during 2013. Since 1985, VTO and its partners at the National Laboratories have received 34 R&D 100 awards. Read more about VTO’s previous awards on VTO's R&D 100 Awards page or see the Energy Department’s press release for a full list of the Energy Department’s 31 projects recognized in 2014.
For 2014, the R&D 100 technologies supported by VTO were:
- Advanced Redox Shuttle Additive for Overcharge Protection of Lithium-Ion Batteries Used in Electric Vehicles - Argonne National Laboratory - This innovation prevents plug-in electric vehicles from overcharging their lithium-ion batteries, which can lead to sudden increases in temperature that can potentially start a fire. This technology can further improve the safety of plug-in electric vehicles by electrochemically “locking in” a maximum voltage for the battery that depends on the chemical structure of the additive and the nature of the battery material. Read more about VTO's research on batteries for plug-in electric vehicles.
- Advanced Electrolyte Model (AEM) - Idaho National Laboratory - The Advanced Electrolyte Model is a powerful tool that analyzes and identifies potential electrolytes for battery systems. The model predicts and reports the key properties of electrolytes that determine how they behave in battery cells. The model can save researchers time by determining which electrolytes and other battery materials make the best combinations. Read more about VTO’s research on batteries for plug-in electric vehicles.
- Ionic Liquid Anti-wear Additives for Fuel-efficient Engine Lubricants - Oak Ridge National Laboratory (in partnership with General Motors Research and Development Center, Shell Global Solutions (US), and Lubrizol Corporation) - Oak Ridge and its partners have developed ionic liquids (salts in a liquid state at ambient temperatures) that can be used as friction and wear reduction additives for lubricating oils. The ionic liquids create nanostructured protective films on lubricated metal surfaces, reducing friction and providing protection from wear. Because this technology can potentially be used in vehicles currently on the road, as well as in many other applications, it could save the United States millions of barrels of oil each year. VTO recently recognized the lead scientist on this project (Jun Qu) for his work at its Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting. Read more about VTO’s research in Lubricants.
- RF-DPF Diesel Particulate Filter Sensor - Filter Sensing Technologies (in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oak Ridge National Laboratory) - The RF-DPF is a diesel particulate filter sensor that uses radio frequencies to measure the amount and distribution of soot and ash in vehicles’ diesel particulate filters. When a vehicle’s particulate filter system is clogged with soot, the sensor automatically signals the engine to burn off the soot, clearing the system. While the regeneration process of clearing the system normally takes place more frequently and for a longer duration, this sensor will enable it to only occur when needed. When used in diesel vehicles, this technology can save energy, increase fuel economy, and reduce drivers’ fuel costs. Read more about VTO’s research on Emissions Control for Internal Combustion Engines.