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Optimizing fuel use

Irrespective of the type of fuel used, conventional or alternative, engine and fuel compatibility makes it possible to optimize energy and environmental performances. In particular, the introduction of low‑carbon fuels (natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen, etc.) requires specific technologies.

IFPEN is working on the development of new highly energy-efficient, low-emission engine/fuel pairings.

The issue of alternative fuel production is examined in the “New Energies”.


A series of tests for the Cigal concept in real use conditions

To study the potential of Natural Gas for Vehicles, IFPEN developed a dual-fuel combustion concept called Cigal, based on the concomitant injection of gas and gasoline. Validated on several engines optimized to operate with natural gas, this concept was first demonstrated on a vehicle in 2015, demonstrating satisfactory results in terms of consumption and particle and CO2 emissions.

Research is now continuing as part of the Casual project, accepted in July 2016 by ADEME Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Bringing together IFPEN and a company specializing in “last mile delivery”, this year-long project, which includes six months of road testing using a small vehicle fleet, is aimed at demonstrating the benefits, in real conditions, of the Cigal concept and collecting data regarding the respective consumption of the two fuels, in order to optimize the tanks used.

                   Demonstrator vehicle using Cigal, an innovative combustion concept.   


Demonstration of a promising octane on demand concept

Launched by the Aramco Fuel Research Center* (AFRC) in partnership with IFPEN, the Octane on Demand project has just been completed after three years of R&I.

The objective is to enable the use of less refined low-load fuels, while optimizing engine performance. A dual-fuel spark ignition powertrain equipped with a fuel supply system capable of adapting the octane number to the driver’s demands has been developed. The research culminated in the design of a demonstrator vehicle incorporating a naphtha/ethanol pairing. This vehicle offers good drivability and meets the objectives set in terms of CO2 emissions and compliance with Euro 6 standards for CO, HC, NOx and particle emissions. The objective is to enable the use of less refined low-load fuels, while optimizing engine performance.

          Octane on Demand's demonstrator vehicle: partnership between AFRC and IFPEN

* French arm of Aramco Overseas Company (AOC), subsidiary of Saudi Aramco

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Key figures

global market share of gasoline engines in 2020