Effect of High RON Fuels on Engine Thermal Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Historically, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for vehicles have focused on tailpipe emissions. However, sound environmental policy requires a more holistic well-to-wheels (WTW) assessment that includes both production of the fuel and its use in the vehicle. The present research explores the net change in WTW GHG emissions associated with moving from regular octane (RO) to high octane (HO) gasoline. It considers both potential increases in refinery emissions from producing HO fuel and potential reductions in vehicle emissions through the use of fuel-efficient engines optimized for such fuel. Three refinery configurations of varying complexity and reforming capacity were studied. A set of simulations covering different levels of HO gasoline production were run for each refinery configuration.