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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

Thursday, 6 July, 2017 - 11:00 to 12:00
Event location: 
Hopkinson West Meeting Room, Engineering Department, Trumpington Street

Speaker: Professor Gautam Kalghatgi, Principal Professional, Saudi Aramco   


Liquid fuels from petroleum currently supply around 95% of transport energy and even by 2040, this share is expected to be around 90%. The alternatives to conventional transport energy are growing but start from a low base and face barriers to rapid and sustainable growth. The global demand for transport energy will grow, mainly in developing countries and it will not be constrained by the supply of oil. However, the demand growth will be heavily skewed towards diesel and jet fuel rather than gasoline because there is far greater scope for reducing fuel consumption in the global light duty vehicle sector which predominantly runs on gasoline. Moreover, most rapidly growing alternatives, e.g. electric vehicles, are really relevant to small vehicles in the passenger car sector, and will further exacerbate this imbalance in demand growth. These changes will require big investments by the refining industry and will increase the availability of low octane gasoline-like components. It is important for auto and oil companies and other stakeholders to work together to develop highly efficient engine/fuel systems which can use such fuels.

Future fuel properties will also be affected by engine development trends which need to meet increasingly stringent requirements on efficiency, emissions, cost and customer expectations. For instance, the optimum fuel for future spark ignition engines is gasoline with high RON and/or low MON and for compression ignition engines, low octane or low cetane fuel.


Speaker Bio

Prof. Kalghatgi (Principal Professional, Saudi Aramco) is also a Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London and at Oxford University. He has held similar professorial appointments in the past at KTH, Stockholm; Technical University, Eindhoven and Sheffield University. He joined Saudi Aramco in October 2010 after 31 years with Shell Research Ltd. in the U.K. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, SAE and I.Mech.E. and is on the editorial boards of several journals. He has made significant contributions to combustion, fuels and engine research and transport energy issues and has published around 140 papers and a recent book, “Fuel/Engine Interactions”. 



Contact name: 
Mrs Kate Graham
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