The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says that it will provide up to $7 million in project funding to accelerate the introduction of affordable, scalable and sustainable high-performance fuels for use in high-efficiency, low-emission engines as part of the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) initiative.
According to the DOE, this initiative is a collaboration between its Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) and brings together DOE national laboratories and industry stakeholders to conduct tandem fuel and engine research, development, and deployment assessments. This funding research aims to help maximize energy savings and on-road vehicle performance while dramatically reducing transportation-related petroleum consumption and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.
Eligibility for this funding opportunity is restricted to U.S. Institutions of Higher Education and nonprofit research institutions that operate as a division under the U.S. Institutions of Higher Education. This restricted eligibility applies to both prime recipients and sub-recipients, says the DOE.
This year, BETO and VTO jointly funded a consortium of nine DOE national laboratories to begin a multiyear project in support of the Co-Optima initiative. Projects selected under this funding opportunity will complement the ongoing DOE national laboratory project and support the broader Co-Optima initiative. The DOE says that the recipients selected for funding are expected to interface with the national laboratory consortium throughout the performance of their projects.
According to the energy department, the national laboratory project includes two parallel research thrusts: 1) improvement of near-term conventional spark-ignition engine efficiency; and 2) enabling the full operability of advanced 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 actively engaging with stakeholders and future collaborators.
The DOE is seeking proposals that address one or more of the following sub-topics:
- 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; and
- Additional barriers.
Research on co-optimized fuels and engines in the last 10 years has identified combustion engine strategies that – especially if optimized to run on new fuels – would offer significantly higher efficiency and produce fewer engine-out pollutants than current engines.
This funding opportunity will advance the long-term objective of the Co-Optima initiative to accelerate widespread deployment of significantly improved fuels and vehicles (from passenger to light truck to heavy-duty commercial vehicles) by 2030.
The submission deadline for full applications is Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. EST.