Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Roadsters Embrace Green Racing

Date:
June 26, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Green racing is now part of the American Le Mans series. It's auto racing where the prize goes to the fastest car with the smallest environmental footprint. But being green does not mean being slow; green race cars are still 200 mph+ cars. The hope is that the concept will lead to more energy-efficient cars for consumers.

Fast and green. That's what it takes to get to the winner's circle in a new type of auto racing.

Called green racing, it's a meshing of the fast and furious world of auto racing with the quest for cleaner-burning fuels and more energy efficient engines. But make no mistake about it, being green does not mean being slow.

John C. Glenn, an environmental specialist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), described green racing here today at the 13th Annual ACS Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference.

The conference is organized by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute®, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting and advancing the discovery and design of chemical products and processes that eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances in all aspects of the global chemical enterprise.

Green racing is a concept that awards a prize to the fastest car that produces the smallest environmental footprint in a race. The hope is that the concept will lead to vital innovations in the cars we use in everyday life, clean up the environment and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

"Race cars actually move the technology of street cars in several ways," Glenn says. "One, the technology of race cars develops at a much faster pace than the technology in street cars. And two, they form the basis of what kind of cars people want. They see cars racing on the track, and that's the kind of car they want to buy."

Green racing was the brainchild of Glenn and others at the EPA. In 2006, the EPA, U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory and SAE International formed the Green Racing Working Group to establish criteria for this new type of racing. Two years later, the American Le Mans Series announced it would become the first racing series to put the environmentally focused competition on the race track.

The first American Le Mans Series race to feature the Green Challenge—essentially a race within a race—was held last October. Michelin is sponsoring the series for 2009, which has been renamed the Michelin® Green X® Challenge.

The prize recognizes speedy cars that are eco-friendly based on three primary factors: energy used, greenhouse gas emitted and the amount of petroleum displaced by alternative fuels. The complex 30-plus part scoring system — developed by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory — takes vehicle mass and average speed into account in order to prevent cars from running slow just to get a better score.

"These are still 200-mph cars. We clearly did not want to change racing. We didn't want to make it boring and slow," Glenn says. "We didn't feel as if that would accomplish our goal, which is to get people to use more energy-efficient vehicles and to stimulate the development of more energy-efficient technologies."

The American Le Mans Series is the perfect testing ground for new green racing technology, Glenn says. It's the only racing series in the world where all cars are allowed to race powered by alternative "street legal" fuels, such as cellulosic E85, E10, clean sulfur-free diesel and gas-electric hybrids. Racers compete in four classifications including GT, which are modified street cars. "It's a much more interesting event with broader technological applications," Glenn notes.

In addition to the American Le Mans Series, several other racing series have become more eco-friendly, allowing the use of ethanol and other renewable fuels. Still, much of racing today remains focused on entertaining fans rather than technological innovation, Glenn says. And he has message for those who resist going green.

"When I talk to people involved in racing, I tell them, 'you're coming to a crossroads. You can either be the poster boys for global warming or you can be part of the solution. It all depends on you,' " Glenn says.

This research, "EPA's Green Racing Initiative," (paper #149) was presented on June 25 at the University of Maryland University College, during the symposium, "Lifecycle Analysis and Green Metrics."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Roadsters Embrace Green Racing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625100341.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, June 26). Roadsters Embrace Green Racing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625100341.htm
American Chemical Society. "Roadsters Embrace Green Racing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090625100341.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins