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Argonne and Marathon partner in DOE Optima initiative to co-optimize fuels and engines

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is partnering with Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) to support an ongoing effort by DOE to explore fuels and engines holistically in search of greater efficiency.

The collaboration between Argonne and MPC is designed to support the “Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines” initiative, which was recently launched jointly by the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office and Bioenergy Technologies Office. (Earlier post.) The new collaboration leverages MPC’s and Argonne’s complementary capabilities in fuel design, analysis and production, as well as advanced engine combustion and emissions formation.

By advancing on both fronts simultaneously, the researchers hope to make substantial gains that would not be possible by working on engines and fuels individually. Optima is targeting a reduction in per-vehicle petroleum consumption by 30% versus the 2030 business as usual.

This is an exciting area of exploration that we think can yield significant benefits in overall efficiency. Co-optimization of fuels and engines has been identified as an area that is ripe for improvement.

—Thomas Wallner, Manager for Fuels, Engine and Aftertreatment Research at Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research

MPC and Argonne will collaborate on research projects, as well as exchanging knowledge and expertise in fuel characterization and fuel characterization equipment. The collaborators will also share information on efficiency, performance and emissions assessments of advanced combustion concepts using current and potential future fuels.

This agreement builds on existing joint efforts, including MPC’s support of Argonne’s experimental research activities, by supplying samples of test fuel and refinery streams for research and testing at Argonne.

MPC also provided Argonne’s Center for Transportation Research with a cooperative fuel research (CFR) engine, a test platform extensively used throughout the industry for testing related to the performance of fuels for internal combustion engines. MPC has been operating CFR engines for decades and has developed extensive know-how and expertise related to setup, test methods and potential improvements to this widely used testing tool. Argonne’s engineers will work alongside MPC experts to ensure efficient knowledge transfer and comprehensive assessment of potential improvements to the test setup and methods.

Automotive and fuels researchers have made significant strides in efficiency over the past 30 years. 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.

—MPC Fuels Technology Manager Fred Walas

Acknowledging the significant role that internal combustion engines are likely to play in the area of road transport for the foreseeable future, Argonne and MPC will use this project to advance the state-of-the-art of research in the area fuel-engine interactions and jointly disseminate research findings in the form of peer-reviewed publications, presentations and reports.

Marathon Petroleum Corporation is the nation’s fourth-largest refiner, with a crude oil refining capacity of approximately 1.8 million barrels per calendar day in its seven-refinery system. Marathon brand gasoline is sold through approximately 5,600 independently owned retail outlets across 19 states.

In addition, Speedway LLC, an MPC subsidiary, owns and operates the nation’s second largest convenience store chain, with approximately 2,770 convenience stores in 22 states.


And Bri

This is another fraud, begin to remove this ethanol in gas and sell us 100% regular gasoline for an instant 3% boost in efficiency.

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