1. Automotive Fuel Research Programs
(2) Japan Auto-oil Program Ⅱ(JATOP Ⅱ)
Various studies are conducted under Japan Auto-oil ProgramⅡ, a three-year program launched in fiscal 2012. On the basis of the results of JATOPⅠ which was conducted between 2007 and 2011, JPEC cooperates with the petroleum and automobile industries in conducting research in the following areas for the purpose of solving technological subjects related to automobiles and fuels.
1) Research on the use of light cycle oil (LCO) fractions for automotive fuel
This research identifies technological subjects in applying LCO fractions to automotive fuel so that technological expertise useful for the expanding use of LCO factions will be obtained. The LCO factions which are dealt with in the research are the fractions produced through cracking of residues from the oil refining process. Additionally, the use of LCOs as oil blendstocks will increasingly replace the use of other types of blendstocks in the production of fuels and is likely to affect the quality of automotive fuels. Thus, this study also aims at understanding the effects of an increased use of LCO blendstocks on the automotive fuel quality and the associated technological problems. Technical findings of the research will help examine the use of LCO blendstocks.
2) Evaluation of measures for reducing gasoline evaporative emissions
Use of unconventional blendstocks derived from biomass and other resources is increasing, and the market share of light vehicles and automobiles equipped with new mechanisms is growing in recent years. In view of this situation, research has been conducted to understand how evaporative emissions from these vehicles are affected by such an increase in the unconventional blendstocks. The aim of this research is in the detailed evaluation of the effects of various measures that are implemented for reducing evaporative emissions.
3) Evaluation of the performance potential of advanced vehicles in terms of their sensitivity to changes in the fuel properties
In this research, model fuels which greatly differ in the cetane number are used for understanding the changes in the fuel sensitivity of the vehicles marketed in Europe and America with advanced technologies and domestic vehicles which comply with the post-new long-term emission regulations. The fuel sensitivity of these vehicles is evaluated in terms of emissions, fuel consumption and practical performance. This research aims at identifying technical problems that should be solved for expanding the use of LCO blendstocks and also at determining the future direction of technological development.
4) Studies and analysis of future trends in fuel properties and automotive technologies
For the purpose of promoting research on the use of LCO fractions for vehicle fuels, information is collected at home and abroad with regard to future trends in the fuel quality as well as automotive technologies which affect and are affected by the fuel quality.
5) Air Quality Study
Significant health problems caused by PM2.5 have become a major concern, and environmental quality standards regarding PM2.5 were established in September 2009. Under JATOPⅡ, an air quality simulation program is used for conducting studies listed below with the aim of helping meet these standards.
・Upgrading of the air quality simulation program
・Updating of the input data (emission inventories)
・Prediction of PM2.5 concentrations
・Continuous updating of emission inventories