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DOE to issue funding opportunity to support Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines initiative

The US DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends (DE-FOA-0001623) to issue, on behalf of the Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO), a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) entitled “Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines.” The FOA (DE-FOA-0001461) will be restricted to US institutions of higher education and non-profit research institutions.

This FOA will support the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative (earlier post), a collaborative initiative being pursued by BETO and VTO to accelerate the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable high-performance fuels for use in high-efficiency, low-emission engines.

The Co-Optima initiative is taking a three-pronged, integrated approach to identifying and developing:

  • Engines designed to run more efficiently on affordable, scalable, and sustainable fuels.

  • Fuels designed to work in high-efficiency, low-emissions engines.

  • Marketplace strategies that can shape the success of new fuels and vehicle technologies with industry and consumers.

In addition to exploring synergies among the fuels, engines, and powertrains used in today’s traditional light-duty vehicles, the Co-Optima initiative is investigating opportunities related to hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies, as well as advanced compression-ignition solutions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

In 2016, BETO and VTO jointly funded a consortium of nine DOE national laboratories to begin an initial three‐year project in support of the Co‐Optima initiative. The National Laboratory Project includes two research thrusts:

  • Thrust I: Improve near‐term conventional spark ignition engine efficiency.

  • Thrust II: Enable full operability advance compression ignition engines.

The research cycle for each thrust includes identifying fuel candidates, understanding their characteristics and combustion performance, and determining market transformation requirements such as cost, GHG reduction, feedstock requirements, scalability, and infrastructure compatibility, while providing feedback to stakeholders and future collaborators.

Projects selected under the upcoming FOA will complement the ongoing National Laboratory Project and support the broader Co‐Optima initiative.

The FOA will solicit applications that address one or more of the following sub‐topic areas:

  • Fuel characterization and fuel property prediction

  • Kinetic measurement and mechanism development

  • Emissions and environmental impact analysis

  • Impact of fuel chemistry and fuel properties on particulate emissions

  • Small volume, high‐throughput fuel testing

DOE is issuing the notice of intent (NOI) so that interested parties are aware of EERE’s intention to issue this FOA in the near term. The FOA is expected to be posted on the EERE Exchange in August.


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