Saudi Aramco Technologies Company, Mazda and Tokyo-based National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) announced Wednesday a cooperative research program to develop advanced engine/fuel combinations.
The research aims to improve engine efficiency and reduce CO2 that will be assessed on a well-to-wheel basis.
Saudi Aramco's Chief Technology Officer Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter said the program underscored the parties' shared commitment to delivering advanced technology solutions towards a sustainable, affordable mobility future.
According to Al-Khowaiter, new engine technologies continue to prove that improving the internal combustion engine (ICE) remains "the most cost-effective and timely means" to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector, "with the potential to yield dramatic results".
As part of this collaboration, Saudi Aramco will provide low carbon-content new fuels, while Mazda's contribution will be a high-efficiency advanced prototype engine based on their SKYACTIV technologies.
The entire scope of research will be tested and optimized at AIST headquarters in Tokyo.
According to the statement, the program consists of comprehensive carbon dioxide assessment through refinery modeling, engine testing, spray diagnostics, and Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations.
"The Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI) concept, which is Saudi Aramco's flagship project within this research program, will enable 25-30 percent reduction in CO2 compared to conventional gasoline spark-ignition engines," it said.
Mazda's advanced prototype engine is based on a compression ignition engine with ultra-lean burn combustion, according to the statement.
"Mazda's engine technologies and Aramco's GCI fuel technologies complement each other. The GCI fuel has a lower carbon content and higher heating value than commercial diesel and gasoline fuels; and the lean burn engine emits lower CO2 than conventional gasoline engines," it added.
The companies expect that combining the engine and fuel technologies will deliver substantial savings in well-to-wheel CO2 emissions.
"Together Mazda, AIST and Saudi Aramco believe that this new collaboration will showcase the ICE platform's abundant potential for cost-effective efficiency improvement and reduced GHG emissions," the statement added.
Completion of the joint work is expected in fiscal year 2020, with ongoing contribution by researchers from all three parties.
By Hale Turkes