Benefits of a Higher Octane Standard Gasoline for the U.S. Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet
This paper explores the benefits that would be achieved if gasoline marketers produced and offered a higher-octane gasoline to the U.S. consumer market as the standard grade. By raising octane, engine knock constraints are reduced, so that new spark-ignition engines can be designed with higher compression ratios and boost levels. Consequently, engine and vehicle efficiencies are improved thus reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet over time. The main objective of this paper is to quantify the reduction in fuel consumption and GHG emissions that would result for a given increase in octane number if new vehicles designed to use this higher-octane gasoline are deployed. GT-Power simulations and a literature review are used to determine the relative brake efficiency gain that is possible as compression ratio is increased.