Hyundai joins Aramco for e-fuel and ultra lean-burn engine development

Hyundai joins Aramco for e-fuel and ultra lean-burn engine development

South Korean auto giant, Hyundai Motor Corp, and Saudi Aramco have reportedly teamed up for developing an advanced fuel that can be used in an ultra lean-burn spark-ignition engine.

The two enterprises will be joined by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia in the research project to improve the gasoline engine’s fuel economy and help reduce CO2 emissions in hybrid vehicles.

Fuel in a lean-burn engine is burned with excess of air during internal combustion, emitting relatively fewer hydrocarbons. The engine makes use of higher compression ratios to offer better performance and efficient fuel use as well, along with low hydrocarbon emissions.

The study will be verifying how much emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced when electrofuel is used in hybrid EVs, and then numerically confirm the reduction effect via engine testing and simulation.

Electrofuels, or e-fuels, have been emerging as drop-in replacement fuels synthesized from green hydrogen, which is produced via water electrolysis, powered by renewable electricity.

For the next two years, Hyundai, Aramco, and KAUST will work together and create an advanced fuel formulation that can be used in combination with a new combustion system.

Hyundai will be providing the ultra lean-burn gasoline engine while Aramco will be leveraging its innovative fuel technology for designing the fuel formulation. KAUST will be overseeing the modeling and verifying the technologies at its research center.

Alain Raposo, Executive VP at Hyundai Motors, stated that the group believes that eco-friendly internal combustion engine (ICE) technology, which combines an ultra-lean burn engine and eco-friendly fuel, will be vital for the effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions during its EV transition.

Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, Chief Technology Officer at Aramco, stated that with the rollout of hybrid EVs, the main challenge being faced is making headway with exceptional combustion systems and optimal fuels, adding that the joint research could result in the application of synthetic fuels.

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