Transport technology, hydrogen advances, and student talent display commitment for developing future solutions.
Researchers at Aramco’s Research & Development (R&D) Center in Detroit were honored to welcome HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for a recent visit where she was able to view first-hand how the company is creating a sustainable future for engines and fuels.
“Her Royal Highness’ thoughtful interest in our work and the talented men and women who are bringing innovation into the company only furthers our commitment to developing energy that is sustainable and inclusive,” said Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, Aramco’s chief technology officer.
The Detroit Center collaborates closely with its counterpart R&D centers in Dhahran, Thuwal, Paris, and Shanghai, as well as with major universities and industry partners.
“It was great honor for our researchers to host Her Royal Highness at the Detroit Center and to present the company’s innovation in transport technology that can contribute to sustainability initiatives.”
— Nabeel I. AlAfaleg, president and CEO of Aramco Americas
In the Vehicle Technology Integration Lab of the Detroit R&D Center, HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar (front, third from the left), poses with front row, L to R: Chanel Sitto; Mohammad N. Al Askar, Aramco Americas R&D director; and Rania B. Biltagi, Aramco Americas director of Public Affairs. Back row, L to R: Andrew W. Bauer, Burke Davis, Markus Albertz, Esam Z. Hamad, Katherine Hull, Alexander Voice and David J. Cleary.
Demonstrating Our Efforts On Sustainability
During a tour of the 50,000-ft2 lab floor and testing chambers, the Ambassador viewed a series of transport technologies that can increase efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and dramatically reduce pollutant emissions while better ensuring affordable transportation.
The visit was an opportunity for the company’s Global Research Centers (GRCs) to demonstrate their efforts on sustainability through technology advancements and diversifications. GRC representatives touched on how the efforts in the U.S. research centers align and contribute value to the company’s sustainability goals and corporate strategy.
Aramco’s flagship work in gasoline compression ignition was shown on an engine dynamometer where it is being tested. The engine, which was developed in-house, is among the most fuel-efficient in the world, capable of achieving ultra-low pollutant emissions.
A large transport truck equipped with Aramco’s mobile carbon capture system was viewed in its test bay. The technology strives to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 40%.
A passenger vehicle suspended above the floor showed the integration of a new engine, controls, and aftertreatment technologies that together provide whole system improvements. Other Aramco products such as rubber, nonmetallics, and lubricants are part of further collaborative initiatives, to further reduce the environmental impact of transport.
At the environmental testing chamber, there was a presentation about Aramco’s ultra-low pollutant emissions and fuels work. This included discussions about creating engines that operate with near zero pollutant emissions while operating on today’s market fuels, options to create improved fuels for deployment through existing infrastructure, and research underway to examine low carbon synthetic fuels to leverage the Kingdom’s abundant renewable resources.
“Our transport work is intended to contribute to a lower carbon future by taking advances in the lab to commercialization and production in vehicle fleets,” said Mohammad N. Al Askar, director of R&D at Aramco Americas.
R&D in Hydrogen
Researchers from the Houston R&D Center attended the tour and gave an overview of technologies focused on hydrogen storage and generation and subsurface CO2 sequestration. They also described a method to economically convert toxic hydrogen sulfide in hydrocarbon stream to valuable hydrogen as a sustainable energy source.
The tour concluded with a look at a model of a hydrogen fueled engine that the Detroit Center is developing in collaboration with a U.S. partner. As a transport fuel, hydrogen offers zero tail pipe CO2 emissions in both passenger and commercial vehicles.
HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar poses with company-sponsored students in Detroit, and students from Houston (virtual).
Engaging with Aramco’s Next Generation
The ambassador met with sponsored students working in the Detroit and Houston centers. The U.S. R&D program employs Aramco students each summer to get them involved in key research activities and provides them access to state-of-the-art labs and tools to enhance their education.
— The Arabian Sun: August 16, 2022