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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Joins Model Fuels Consortium

The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has joined the Model Fuels Consortium (MFC). ORNL will bring its extensive experimental facilities, data, and experience to the consortium’s charter to develop, validate and apply advanced simulation methods that can improve engine and fuel design resulting in increased fuel efficiencies and reduced emissions.

ORNL joins existing members General Motors, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, Cummins Engine Company, Dow Chemical Company, Ford Motor Company, Honda, L'Institut Français du Pétrole, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, and Toyota. (Earlier post.)

Reaction Design, the provider of software for the analysis of chemical processes via simulation and modeling solutions, launched the MFC in 2005.

Model fuels are carefully chosen mixtures of a few pure chemicals that together mimic the combustion behavior in computer simulations of the much more chemically complex commercial fuels. Once validated, the model fuels accurately simulate combustion, allowing fuel and engine designers to optimize engine performance and emissions control faster and at less cost than with traditional physical fuel/engine testing. Developing validated fuel surrogates and associated computer simulation tools are the main focus of the consortium.

The ORNL participation provides critical validation of the model-fuels methodology through measurements and comparisons in real engines. Combined with validation against more fundamental combustion data and the laboratory engine data being provided by the L'Institut Français du Pétrole, we are confident that our program for model development and reduction will result in industry adoption of simulation as a viable way to reduce development costs and accelerate innovation

—Dr. Ellen Meeks, VP of Development of Reaction Design

The MFC’s stakeholders face regulatory and economic pressures to meet increasingly stringent emissions standards and more demanding fuel efficiency requirements. These circumstances have also given rise to developmental fuels and new engine technologies they must master.

We are particularly excited about being a part of the MFC because it provides another useful avenue for the extensive data we have developed on engine technology. Reaction Design has created an effective Industry consortium with both engine manufacturers and fuel designers with technical guidance from world leaders and organizations such as ORNL that will help industry develop cleaner, multi-fuel capable engines.

—Dr. Bruce Bunting, scientist at ORNL

In June, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) selected Reaction Design to develop fuel models for simulating the operation of commercial and military jet engines with Fischer-Tropsch fuels and biofuels. (Earlier post.)

In September, the DOE Office of FreedomCAR and Vehicle Technologies (OFCVT) awarded Reaction Design a grant for a two-year study of the chemical and transport phenomena that take place during biodiesel combustion. (Earlier post.)



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