Last month students from the University at Buffalo Engineering program participated in the Michigan Technological University Clean Snowmobile Challenge and won second place in the internal combustion division, the Sensors Inc. Award for Lowest In-Service Emissions, the AVL Award for Best Emissions with its biodiesel-powered snowmobile, and the NGK Spark Plugs/NTK Sensors Cold Start Award!
Most sleds ran on an undisclosed cocktail of gasoline and isobutanol, a biofuel made from corn. UB was one of the few successful entries who used a biodiesel blend.
Advances like these are critical to the future of snowmobiling, said Art Jeffers, acting forest supervisor of the Huron-Manistee National Forest, who represented the US Forest Service at the Challenge. “Snowmobile emissions and noise reduction are central to the free enjoyment of public lands and to minimizing user conflict,” he said. “The snowmobiling industry and the clubs have made great strides, and with their sponsorship, the Challenge has been a great way to move the technology forward.”
The Clean Snowmobile Challenge is sponsored at Michigan Tech by the Keweenaw Research Center and the Department of Mechanical Engineering–Engineering Mechanics. For more information on the Challenge, see www.mtu.edu/snowmobile.
Congratulations again to the UB Engineering students on their success and to all the students who participated in the event!