1991-02-01

The 1990 SAE Methanol Challenge: Summary of a Successful Student Design Competition 910570

ABSTRACT

A follow-up to the 1989 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Methanol Marathon called the Methanol Challenge was held in April 1990. One of a series of engineering student competitions using alternative fuels organized and conducted by the Center for Transportation Research at Argonne National Laboratory, the Methanol Challenge pushed the technology for dedicated M85 (85% methanol, 15% hydrocarbon fuel) methanol passenger cars to new levels. The event included complete federal exhaust emissions, cold-start and driveability, performance, and fuel economy testing. Twelve teams of student engineers from the United States and Canada competed in the Challenge using Chevrolet Corsicas donated by General Motors (GM) to the schools. The winning car, from the University of Tennessee, simultaneously demonstrated extremely low emissions, dramatically increased performance, and significantly improved fuel economy. The success of the Methanol Challenge showed that student competitions produce a valuable educational experience, develop and demonstrate advanced technology, and provide an excellent way for industry and governmental sponsors to work together to benefit engineering education and other common goals.

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