Fuels and Combustion Research

NREL's fuels and combustion research provides the crucial connection between fuel properties and molecular structure, targeting fuel design and production with the right chemistry for the intended transportation application.

We focus on researching and developing net-zero-carbon fuels for difficult-to-decarbonize sectors such as heavy-duty trucking, off-road vehicles, rail, marine, and aviation.

Research and Development

We provide the scientific building blocks needed to spur innovation through fundamental fuels and combustion research and engineering.


NREL researchers publish journal articles, conference papers, and reports about fuels and combustion R&D. Browse publications.

Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines: Fuels Properties Database

Features a compilation of properties for various blendstock candidates, including pure compounds. Access database.

Vehicle Fuel Efficiency and Performance

NREL and its industry partners focus on the intersection of fuel chemistry, combustion, and emissions to answer two primary questions:

  1. How can improved fuel chemistry lead to more efficient engine performance?
  2. How can better engine design most effectively leverage molecular fuel properties?

Transportation Fuels Innovation for the Future

NREL's depth of research in fuels and combustion, biofuels, and high-performance computing make it uniquely situated to solve some of the most complex transportation-related challenges.

The resulting advances in fuel formulation, combustion strategy, and engine design will help develop more fuel-efficient vehicles for ground, air, and marine transportation, displacing oil consumption and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.


Contact us to learn more about our fuels and combustion research or to explore partnership opportunities.

Gina Fioroni

Senior Scientist, Group Manager