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Ionic Liquids as Novel Lubricants or Lubricant Additives

For internal combustion engines and industrial machinery, it is well recognized that the most cost-effective way of reducing energy consumption and extending service life is through lubricant development. This presentation summarizes our recent R&D achievements on developing a new class of candidate lubricants or oil additives ionic liquids (ILs). Features of ILs making them attractive for lubrication include high thermal stability, low vapor pressure, non-flammability, and intrinsic high polarity. When used as neat lubricants, selected ILs demonstrated lower friction under elastohydrodynamic lubrication and less wear at boundary lubrication benchmarked against fully-formulated engine oils in our bench tests. More encouragingly, a group of non-corrosive, oil-miscible ILs has recently been developed and demonstrated multiple additive functionalities including anti-wear and friction modifier when blended into hydrocarbon base oils.

Consumer Behavior and Risk Aversion

Auto manufacturers have known and surveys confirm that consumers require short payback periods (2-4 years) for investments in fuel economy. Using societal discount rates, engineering-economic generally find substantial potential to increase fuel economy, cost-effectively. This phenomenon, often referred to as the ?energy paradox?, has been observed in nearly all consumers? choices of energy-using durable goods. Loss aversion, perhaps the most well established theory of behavioral economics, provides a compelling explanation. Engineering economic analyses generally overlook the fact that consumers? investments in fuel economy are not sure things but rather risky bets. Future energy prices, real world on-road fuel economy, and many other factors are uncertain. Loss aversion describes a fundamental human tendency to exaggerate the potential for loss relative to gain when faced with a risky bet. It provides a sufficient explanation for consumers?