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Monday, 6 February 2012

Saudi Aramco develops fuel formula to cut gas engines’ CO2 emissions

Feb 5, 2012

Credit: Saudi Aramco

A team from Saudi Aramco’s Research & Development Center (R&DC) and FEV, an engine design company in Germany, recently participated in a technology demonstration event in Aachen, Germany. The event marked the culmination of a project that was developed as a means of showcasing the potential of specific fuel formulas in lowering the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in modern gasoline engines.

The scientists of R&DC’s Fuel Team chose an innovative approach in fuel development by not working on future fuels in isolation, but rather looking at the fuel and the engine as a single system to be optimized synergistically. For the purpose of this research, R&DC has partnered with FEV, which brought the engine testing expertise to the table.

“The joint research has resulted in experimental fuels that enable future engines to be even smaller and capable of running on higher boosting pressures, without compromising performance,” said Faisal M. Al-Faqeer, manager of R&DC. “The greatest achievement though is that this fuel/engine combination consumes significantly less fuel per kilometer travelled and consequently will emit less CO2, while it is expected that it will not increase the cost of motoring.”

During the event, the first prototype car using this fuel/engine concept was presented by the project scientists. Members of the management of R&DC and FEV were able to get firsthand experience by driving a car fueled by Saudi Aramco’s new experimental fuel. “FEV’s own test track provided the ideal environment for such a test, where driving patterns from city cruising to high speed motorway travel could be realized in a safe and controlled way,” said Amer A. Amer, Fuel Technology R&D Team leader.

The experience showed that this future fuel concept could be achieved without compromising car performance. The car was driven with the experimental fuel, showing that this new crude oil-based product developed by Saudi Aramco is compatible with existing engine technology. For R&DC, this marks the first step toward becoming a leading force in research and development of future fuels for transportation.

“As a next step, the Saudi Aramco team has started to assess implications from producing such fuels, looking at energy needs and consequently the CO2 footprint of manufacturing and associated cost,” said Amer.

Al-Faqeer commented on the unique approach adopted by R&DC in taking research on future fuels as “a system approach in cooperation with a competent partner from the field of engine research and development.” He continued “this has proven to be very successful, demonstrating the potential benefit, both in terms of CO2 reduction and potential cost.”

The skills of Saudi Aramco’s scientists complement perfectly those of their FEV counterparts. The teams have now set their sights on another challenge for the coming year: focusing on demonstration of economic and ecological benefits in a diesel type fuel/engine system.

Source: Saudi Aramco


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