Turbocharged engines pack more horsepower in a smaller, more efficient package than traditional combustion engines. The Department of Energy’s Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) project, funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle and Bioenergy Technologies Offices, is focused on developing new high-performance biofuels that can boost engine efficiency and cut emissions when combined with advanced combustion approaches, such as boosted spark ignition (BSI) engines.
A new Co-Optima report, "Top Ten Blendstocks for Turbocharged Gasoline Engines: Bio-blendstocks with the Potential to Deliver the Highest Engine Efficiency," includes an assessment of 400 biofuel-derived molecules and identifies the top candidates to blend with petroleum fuel to boost BSI engine efficiency. All the top-performing blendstocks showed potential to be produced at a competitive cost. Six of these blendstocks had the fewest significant practical barriers to adoption and use di-isobutylene, ethanol, isobutanol, n-propanol, isopropanol, and a fusel alcohol blend.
The assessment, led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a team of nine DOE National Laboratories, is the first to systematically screen and evaluate the suitability of a broad range of biomass-derived molecules and mixtures across many chemical families for use as BSI blendstocks.