Drive savings

Evonik products couple state-of-the-art mobility with sustainability.

Less is more. These three words sum up development of conventional drive vehicles by the automotive industry over the past decade. New models not only produce lower emissions and use less fuel; they are also increasingly efficient. These days, a 1.2 liter gasoline engine achieves higher values for increased power, fuel economy, and CO2 emissions than a 1.6 liter engine did ten years ago. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years because the European Commission aims to reduce new car carbon dioxide emissions in the years 2015 to 2020 from 130 grams per kilometer to an average of only 95 grams.

Fuel-efficient driving is not solely attributable to a vehicle's efficient core, however. It is more a combination of high-performance materials for weight reduction, state-of-the-art technologies for energy regeneration, intuitive information systems and driver assistance systems that encourage the optimum driving style, body construction, and a plethora of other components such as lubricants, tire pressure and the tires themselves. Often overlooked, a person's individual driving style has a strong impact on fuel consumption. The part played by the chemical industry in this holistic concept is shown by two innovative solutions from Evonik Industries.

Efficiency-enhancing Technology

Mount new tires and change the oil. Now the vehicle may reduce fuel consumption by more than 10 percent—with the same driving style. It sounds simple, but Evonik's sophisticated technologies are what make this possible.

"With our silica-silane system we hold the key to moving tires into the green category for wet grip performance and gas consumption," says Dr. Hans-Detlef Luginsland, head of the Rubber Silica Product Line at Evonik Industries. The silica-organosilane reinforcing system is a critical factor in determining tire tread performance. "Without this component, rolling resistance cannot be reduced," says Luginsland. And everything depends on that: Reduced rolling resistance reduces fuel requirements and thus also emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate-changing gases generated during fuel combustion. It is also important to adjust the formulation of the rubber compound so that abrasion is as low as possible without affecting dry and wet grip.

Before the "green" tire starts rolling at all, a large number of vehicle components first need to generate the required energy in perfectly coordinated interaction. The inner friction generated in the process adversely affects the energy yield, however. "This is where our DRIVON™ technology comes in," says Dr. Ernst Bielmeier, a marketing expert in Evonik's Oil Additives Business Line. Vehicle oils reduce this friction. "The lower the viscosity of the lubricants at low temperatures, the easier it is to start and run the engine. This reduces the fuel consumption. A smooth characteristic that DRIVON™ technology helps us to achieve," explains Bielmeier.

Improved Life Cycle Assessment

Many Evonik products make a sustainable contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their applications—compared with conventional alternatives. In its Carbon Footprint report for 2013*, the Group calculated a significant fuel saving of up to 7.5 percent, achieved entirely through the use of low-resistance tires with the silica-silane system.

Furthermore, last year Evonik put engine oils and automatic Transmission oils to the test in a life cycle assessment study. The result: "Using our DRIVON™ technology enabled us to achieve total fuel savings of up to 4 percent," says Bielmeier.

What does this mean in practice? The interaction of the engine oils based on Evonik's DRIVON™ technology with the low-resistance green tires enables car drivers to drive 100 kilometers further on a 1,000-kilometer stretch using the same quantity of fuel. This not only translates into cash savings. It facilitates sustainable business.

*The data for the Evonik Carbon Footprint Report was collected and calculated for 2013 based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and in accordance with the Guidance for Accounting & Reporting Corporate GHG Emissions in the Chemical Sector Value
Chain of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).