Fuel and engine formulations

Technology development

The greatest opportunity to reduce emissions from tomorrow’s automotive sector comes from developing innovative fuel formulations and efficient internal combustion engine technologies today.

Well into the future the vast majority of cars on the road will be powered by internal combustion engines. So, it only makes sense to make sure they are as efficient as possible.

Through our global research centers and partnerships with the automotive industry, we are re-engineering the internal combustion engine and advancing game-changing transportation technologies that could significantly reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency for energy consumers around the world.

Workers in a car at the Saudi Aramco Research Center in Detroit testing fuel and engine formulations technology

Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI)

Gasoline Compression Ignition (GCI) combines the best qualities of gasoline and diesel engines to make a clean-burning, highly efficient internal combustion engine. GCI engines use gasoline-like fuels that ignite less readily than diesel fuel, enabling improved mixture formation prior to combustion, which in turn makes it easier to control emissions.

The GCI system creates ultra-low engine emissions, while still harnessing the efficiency improvements associated with diesel engines.

Opposed-Piston (OP) Engine

Through our partnership with Achates, we’re working with auto manufacturers to bring next generation engines to global markets. The OP engine is a novel design utilizing two pistons per cylinder, allowing for a higher expansion ratio and significantly lower heat losses, which leads to superior efficiency.

OP when combined with GCI, results in engines with ultra-high efficiency, ultra-low emissions – and up to a 50 percent improvement in fuel economy. Using OP/GCI engines in full-size light trucks would have the same CO2 impact as eliminating more than half of the cars sold each year.

Two men work on a car as part of Saudi Aramco fuel and engine formulation technology in our Detroit Research Center

Octane-on-Demand (OoD) 

This intelligent engine-fuel technology has the potential to deliver reductions in CO2 and fuel consumption. OoD improves fuel efficiency by using octane only when needed to match the specific requirements of the engine in real time.

Our scientists are now working on on-board fuel separation technologies – which can separate a market fuel into two fuels with different octane quality. This technology would enable OoD to be fully implemented using today’s market fuels and refueling infrastructure, thereby accelerating adoption of the technology.

Mobile Carbon Capture

Mobile carbon capture contains emissions at the source through a redesigned exhaust system that captures CO2 and stores it on-board the vehicle. Captured CO2 has the potential to be used for a variety of commercial and industrial purposes.

Initial proofs of concept have allowed the world to see what is possible with mobile carbon capture, encouraging continued investment both from Saudi Aramco and others. The next iteration of our work is focused on implementing the technology in a tractor trailer, with the goal of achieving 50 percent CO2 avoidance in this model by 2018.

Two male technicians work on an engine as part of CGI engine fuel and formulations technology at Detroit Research Center