Biofuel engineering issues set to undergo detailed investigation15 February 2010

A consortium has been formed by engineering consultancy Ricardo to look more closely into engineering challenges that result from the use of biofuels.

The group's main task will be to evaluate the impact of applying such fuels to current and future ranges of light-duty engines.

Ricardo is hopeful of combining its own research capabilities regarding automotive technology with that of other consortium members.

Although no names have been announced, the consortium is expected to include organisations from varied backgrounds, including Tier 1 component suppliers, manufacturers, government agencies, oil companies and additive manufacturers.

Ricardo's project director for fuels and lubricants, Craig Goodfellow, says that the consortium's work will be split into modules – the first being understanding the effect of biofuel content on diesel performance, emissions and economy, using conventional and advanced combustion control systems.

Further modules under consideration will include: an investigation into the effects of biodiesel on fuel in oil dilution and how advanced post injection calibration techniques can reduce the problem; the effects of biofuel content on gasoline performance, emissions and economy; and the effects of biodiesel on vehicle stability.

"For biodiesel, the challenge of creating stable and consistent supplies of fuel and engineering the powertrain system to operate without detriment to performance and durability is both complex and considerable," says Goodfellow.

"By drawing together this consortium of interested partners, we aim to focus research and help chart the means by which such challenges can be addressed."

john Challen

Related Companies
Ricardo plc

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