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Alternative and Advanced Fuels

Clean Diesel Fuels
Argonne researchers (from left) Steve McConnell, Henry Ng, Forrest Jehlik, Geoff Amman and Mike Kern are shown with samples of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, a cleaner-burning diesel fuel used in the Opel Astra. The VW Jetta TDI runs on a clean diesel fuel derived from coal.

Alternative and advanced fuels are critical to reducing our country's dependence on foreign oil and improving air quality.

To promote and stimulate alternative and renewable fuel research, the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard has made it a requirement to increase the production of ethanol and advanced biofuels to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Public concern over mobile sources of air pollution provides an additional incentive to produce fuels that generate fewer emissions and increase efficiency.

Argonne's Fuels Research Program

The primary focus of Argonne's alternative and advanced fuels research program is the acquisition and dissemination of emissions, efficiency and performance data from both engines and vehicles operating on various fuels. This is accomplished using Argonne's extensive engine and vehicle testing facilities combined with the latest data acquisition equipment for in-cylinder combustion, as well as exhaust system analysis.

Additionally, the development of mechanistic models with an emphasis on practical applications is currently being pursued through world-class chemistry kinetics, dynamics and quantum chemistry. By employing Argonne’s vertically-integrated team to bridge basic combustion research and applied engine systems, improved understanding and operation of various alternative and renewable fuels is attainable.

Argonne's goal is to maximize the benefits of alternative and advanced fuels while minimizing the implementation and economic impact on manufacturers and consumers. Identifying hurdles and generating solutions are keys to the successful implementation of these fuels. Several fuels are currently being investigated within the Center for Transportation Research including clean diesel, butanol, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas and synthetic fuels.

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