EnergyFactor By ExxonMobil | Pespectives has a new home

Focus on Technology: Improving the internal combustion engine

Most of us can remember our first car. I learned to drive on a Datsun B210 stick shift – it wasn’t the most beautiful vehicle on the roads, but I loved it.

CaptureToday’s cars are not just better-looking, they are safer, more fuel efficient, and produce fewer emissions than what we drove in the 1970s, thanks to a range of technological advancements. Most cars are still powered by internal combustion engines just like the automobiles back when I was learning to drive, but improvements in engine performance and efficiency are helping to reduce the carbon footprint of our daily commutes.

At ExxonMobil, we know that making cars even more efficient is one of the most important and cost-effective ways to reduce emissions all around the world.

According to government projections, internal combustion engines will still power more than 99 percent of all highway vehicles sold in 2040 (that includes hybrids). With a projected 80 percent more cars on the world’s roads in 25 years, even seemingly small improvements in engine efficiency could make a big difference.

What’s more, when scientists and engineers advance engine technology, drivers get cars that are similar in cost, but have even better performance.

ExxonMobil has long worked with automotive partners to study combustion fundamentals and to develop technologies to improve the internal combustion engine.

A key focus of our work has been the impact of fuel composition on engine performance – seeking to improve how fuels and engines work together.

Improvements in Engine EfficiencyAs part of this effort, we have worked with Corning and Toyota to create an onboard system that can increase the efficiency of a gasoline engines by about 10 percent, using energy that would normally be wasted in the exhaust.  And this is just one of our cooperative efforts.  From the earliest days of our company, we have constantly raised our standards for what constitutes fuel performance and excellence.

Looking toward the future, we are committed to continuing this work to understand fuel needs for high-efficiency engines, such as exploring the potential of low-temperature combustion concepts that generate fewer emissions and benefit from reduced heat loss.

Such investment and research efforts are just a few of the ways we’re working to make the world’s energy go further.



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