Working to find greater engine efficiency solutions
Ever since automobiles were invented, their engines – and the fuels that run them – have been steadily improving. This process has accelerated over the past few decades as emissions reductions have become increasingly important.
“Automotive and fuels researchers have made significant strides in efficiency over the past 30 years,” said Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) Fuels Technology Manager Fred Walas. “As our products become more and more specialized, we realize we cannot optimize the fuel and engines independently. Instead, we must treat them as a combined system to achieve higher efficiencies economically.”
So MPC and Argonne National Laboratory – part of the U.S. Department of Transportation – have joined forces to research fuel-engine interactions. Argonne and MPC both have decades of expertise, and our collaboration will bring together experts on fuel design, analysis and production with scientists who work on advanced engine combustion and emissions formation.
The joint effort supports the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative, launched by the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office. The researchers hope to make substantial gains that couldn’t be achieved by working on engines or fuels separately.
In addition to supplying test fuel and expertise, MPC has also provided Argonne with a Cooperative Fuel Research engine, a test platform used throughout the industry to determine how fuels perform in internal combustion engines. Argonne’s engineers will work closely with MPC experts to ensure efficient knowledge transfer and to assess potential improvements.
“Our effort is aimed at gaining knowledge that can help not just MPC, and not just our industry, but the public at large,” said Walas. “We’re proud that we can contribute to Argonne’s mission of advancing America’s scientific leadership and preparing the nation for a better future.”