Discovering new molecules for automotive fuels


A pervasive product that explodes thousands of times a minute? Since 1898, when Rudolf Diesel was granted patent #608,845 for an ‘internal combustion engine’, the innovation story has continued to run, and run. Perhaps surprisingly, since the innovation space is highly constrained and complex with many interacting chemical and physical processes, strict regulations and a strong focus on cost. Shell's fuel innovation team is at the forefront of combustion research and seeks to accelerate innovation. It challenged Innovia to discover novel chemistries that could deliver new benefits for automotive fuels.


Innovia systematically mapped the physical and chemical processes occurring in a diesel engine, and their complex interplay. The map gave Shell a clear perspective on opportunity areas for new chemistries.


We developed a portfolio of concepts defined to such a level that Shell could move directly to proof-of-concept testing – candidate molecules and supporting rationale founded on fundamental science.