Alternative Fuels One of the Focuses of the Mobile Source Clean-Air Conference Presented by Colorado State University Sept. 10-13

Note to Editors: Media representatives are invited to attend the 18th Annual Mobile Sources/Clean Air Conference Sept. 10-13 at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Colo. To arrange interviews or to attend, contact Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-1543.

Alternative fuels will be one of the focuses of the 18th Annual Mobile Source/Clean Air Conference to be attended by hundreds of leading educators, policy makers, representatives from the government and private sector and academics from across the United States and several other countries.

The national conference, held from Sept. 10-13 at Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, is presented by the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety housed at Colorado State University.

The conference attracts key scientists and decision-makers and is designed to build partnerships among groups with a common commitment to finding solutions to air quality problems caused by vehicles. One of the highlights includes a session entitled "Clean Diesel Technology," which will present research on biomass fuels and ways to improve diesel engines to pollute less. The session will be presented by K. Shaine Tysen, research scientist for National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Passenger cars have been running cleaner over the past decade and so it is time to focus on the heavy-duty diesel vehicles," said Birgit Wolff, director of conferences for the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety. "It’s important to look at the innovative technological advances that are now available for diesel vehicles."

Another important session, presented by Bill Parton of the Natural Resources Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State, will look at the revolutionary changes in producing ethanol, making the fuel a much more viable alternative.

A key part of the conference looks at on-board diagnostics technology and the public response to the 1996-mandated addition to vehicles. Lenora Bohren, director of NCVECS at Colorado State, has been studying the public response to the OBD II technology and has found that, if people are educated about the meaning of the "check engine light," they are more likely to have their vehicles repaired.

"A problem arises when people think the ‘check engine light’ is related to a major problem with the engine and, when they don’t see an improvement in the vehicle’s performance after being repaired, they think they have wasted their money and will often ignore the light when it comes on again," Bohren said. "The ‘check engine light’ really is an early-warning system that tells the driver there is a potential problem with their vehicle’s emissions control systems. By fixing the problem, the driver can potentially save money by preventing more costly repairs in the future and by improving fuel economy. In addition, there is less pollution in the air when cars are properly maintained."

The conference is sponsored by the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety, a research/training center at Colorado State University. The center is in the Department of Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management and part of the College of Applied Human Sciences.

The National Center for Emissions Control and Safety has a long history of international involvement. Training has been performed in Canada and Mexico. International Clean Air Conferences have been held in Germany, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica and other countries.

The National Center for Emissions Control and Safety was established in 1976 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is the nation’s only university-based center devoted exclusively to the study of light-duty vehicle emissions control.

A complete schedule of the conference can be found at

For more information, call (970) 491-7240.