This page contains information on my current and past internal combustion engine research projects and interests.

Current Research

The effects of depth on diesel engine performance and emissions.

Several metal mines in Canada are approaching 10,000ft depth. The use of diesel-powered equipment will be critical to the economic viability of these operations. Preliminary mine development work has identified some operational problems with electronically-controlled diesel engines at this depth, and further research is deemed necessary before heavy-duty production equipment is engaged.

This work is being funded through the Deep Mining Research Consortium (DMRC).

Development of a TCIC electronically-controlled diesel engine for light-duty vehicles.

Turbocharged and intercooled (TCIC) diesel engines with full electronic control have been adopted for most of the heavy-duty, production-based mining vehicle fleet. This has made a significant contribution the the overall mine air quality. The light-duty fleet has not similarly benefitted from trend, as electronic controls would represent a large portion of the total cost of a light-duty engine (<100HP) and have thus not been as rapidly adopted.

This work will develop a light-duty personel carrier mining vehicle with a full electronic diesel engine (<100HP). The engine will be tested at CANMET over simulated mining duty cycles and the complete vehicle will be send underground for a proof-of-concept study.

Sponsors and funding are currently being sought for this work.

Mining vehicle duty cycle development.

With the introduction of the USA EPA non-road transient test cycle (NRTC), there has been renewed interest in simulated vehicle duty cycles for mining equipment. CANMET-MMSL pioneered some of this work in the 198o's and the group is revisiting it again. Due to the increasing use of diesel particulate systems in underground mines, vehicle cycles are being developed to aid in applications engineering.

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Past Research

  • Engine control systems and sensors.
  • Emissions control: particulate filter systems, catalysts, SCR.
  • Light-duty vehicles.
  • Diesel particulate filter regeneration strategies.
  • Hybrid vehicle development.
  • Engine maintenance and faults.

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Technical Papers

Click here for a list of technical papers.

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Diversionary Projects

In my spare time, I have developed a few diversionary projects of relevance.

Audi 90 diesel engine conversion

I swapped out the 2.0L 3A gasoline engine in my Audi sedan and replaced it with a 1.6L ME diesel engine. This has greatly improved its fuel economy as a commuter vehicle, and was much cheaper than a buying a used diesel Golf/Jetta.

Biodiesel processor

I have built a small batch (30L) biodiesel processor. With this system, I can process used vegetable oil into methyl ester fuel for my diesel passenger car. I can run my car on B100 or any blend that I have available. I add a cold weather additive, and if I run out of my homemade blend, I can buy it at the pumps (B20) here in Ottawa from Topia Energy.

Feel free to contact me if you are working on a VW/Audi engine swap (diesel or otherwise) or
building your own biodiesel processor. I would love to compare notes.

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© Brent Rubeli, 2005