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Supercomputing Power Could Pave the Way to Energy-Efficient Engines

April 30, 2012 // National Geographic


Less than one third of the energy from the fuel put into the gas tank of a car with a typical spark-ignition engine is used to move the vehicle down the road. The rest is lost, mostly as exhaust heat, due to the engine's inherent inefficiencies.

Diesel engines, which use compression rather than an electric spark to ignite the fuel, are far more efficient, but researchers believe greater improvements are possible.

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Today's clean diesel heavy-duty trucks are 98 percent cleaner than those made 10 years ago.