Skip to main content

Fuels Performance

NREL's applied fuels performance research takes a whole-vehicle-systems approach, examining not just co-optimization of low-carbon fuels and internal combustion engines, but also fuel production, infrastructure, handling, combustion, and emissions.

Text Version

Putting more energy-efficient vehicles on the road to displace oil consumption, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the nation's energy security requires simultaneous advances in fuel formulation, combustion strategy, and engine design.

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 fuel properties?

Learn about NREL's fuels performance work in these areas:

Find out about related NREL biomass research projects that focus on converting renewable biomass feedstocks into transportation fuels, chemicals, and products.

For more information, see the Fuels Performance fact sheet.


NREL conducts fuels performance research projects at the Fuel Combustion Laboratory and ReFUEL Laboratory. NREL also has access to external facilities that supplement the lab's on-site capabilities.


NREL researchers document their findings in conference papers and presentations, technical reports, journal articles, and fact sheets. Search the NREL Publications Database to access published documents and data.

Explore a sampling of recent fuels performance publications:

Contact Matthew Thornton for more information about NREL's fuels performance projects.