Energy Department Announces Up to $12 Million for the Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines

May 2, 2018

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Today the Energy Department’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) released a multi-topic funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Topic five of the FOA will be jointly funded by DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), as a part of BETO and VTO’s joint Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines (Co-Optima) Initiative. Co-Optima is a collaborative research and development effort between the two offices that supports research of fuel and engine innovations that work together to maximize vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. The initiative is accelerating the introduction of affordable, scalable, and sustainable biofuels and high-efficiency, low-emission vehicle engines.

FOA Topic 5 has two subtopics:

  • Topic 5a: Multi-Mode Optimized Fuel/Engine System Development: The objective of this area of interest is to develop a co-optimized (engine and fuel) prototype light-duty, multi-cylinder reciprocating engine (minimum 150 horsepower). The first topic area will solicit multidisciplinary industry teaming projects to develop a spark-ignition/compression ignition multimode combustion regime over a broad range of engine operating conditions with a suitable co-optimized fuel. Applicant teams must include: 1) a vehicle or engine manufacturer who has produced at least 20,000 vehicles or a Tier I supplier who has provided major componentry for at least 20,000 engines; and, 2) a fuel manufacturer or fuel supplier.   
  • Topic 5b: Bioblendstocks to Optimize Mixing Controlled Compression Ignition (MCCI) Engines: The objective of this area of interest is to develop and demonstrate single component or multi-component bioblendstocks for use in medium- and heavy-duty mixing controlled, compression ignition engines blended into a base diesel fuel at no less than 5% by volume that achieves greenhouse gas reductions of at least 50% compared to conventional petroleum-derived diesel.  Applicant teams should include university and/or industry members and could include a vehicle or engine manufacturer.

Successful applicant teams for both topic areas will work closely with the national laboratories and universities that are currently a part of the Co-Optima Initiative. Projects awarded under this FOA will complement ongoing work at the national labs and universities and will enable a deeper engagement with industry.

Funding for the Co-Optima portion of the FOA will total up to $12 million, combined, from VTO and BETO.  Concept papers are due May 29, 2018, and full applications will be due July 13, 2018. For more information and application requirements, please visit the EERE Exchange website.