New Report Boosts Development Options for Most Promising Biofuels

Yellow fluids in several lab beakers.

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.

Visit the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Scientific and Technical Information website to view the full technical report.