Transportation experts are proposing that the research and development of next-generation biofuels must be done in conjunction with the development of advanced combustion engines if those biofuels are to become a reality and long-term success in the U.S. transportation sector, according to a new report issued by Sandia National Laboratories.

The recommendations were made following a Sandia-hosted workshop held in 2009. Participants included researchers at the Department of Energy’s Combustion Research Facility (CRF) and Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), as well as representatives from oil companies, biofuel developers, engine manufacturers, suppliers and experts from the university, regulatory, finance and national laboratory communities.

"The oil companies and the automobile and truck engine companies have engaged in a dialogue and collaboration on fuel and engine issues for almost 100 years," says said Ron Stoltz, manager of Sandia’s Advanced Energy Initiatives. "But the same cannot be said for the majority of biofuel startup companies, especially those that are thinking 'beyond ethanol'. The report highlights how fragmented the biofuels industry is today and how, by putting serious thought behind some key issues like fuel chemistry linked to engine performance, great strides can be made."

The full report is now available online at http://www.sandia.gov/news/publications/white-papers/index.html.

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