Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computers Use Darwinian Model To "Evolve" Fuel Additives

Date:
July 22, 1999
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Chemical engineers at Purdue University have developed and demonstrated how a computerized system that mimics evolution can discover new gasoline additives for better engine performance.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Chemical engineers at Purdue University have developed and demonstrated how a computerized system that mimics evolution can discover new gasoline additives for better engine performance.

The engineers developed "genetic" algorithms -- or computer instructions -- that adapt Charles Darwin's evolutionary model to combine and recombine chemical components until the "fittest" fuel additives emerge. Each additive is made of three sections: a head, linker and tail. But there are about 20 distinct kinds of heads, linkers and tails that can be combined differently to make a nearly endless variety of compounds.

"Based on the combinations, they can have completely different properties," says Venkat Venkatasubramanian, a professor of chemical engineering. The numerous combinations can be likened to biological diversity: the genetic blueprints for all life forms are made of the same four chemical building blocks of DNA, and only subtle variations in gene sequences spell the difference between monkeys and humans.

Rather than trying to study the properties of every possible compound, the evolutionary method naturally selects the best-performing additives.

"We randomly create hundreds of molecules from these heads and tails at the beginning," Venkatasubramanian says. The system can then predict how well the molecules will work by evaluating their structures.

Only the best candidates are kept, and they continue to breed. Their head, linker and tail sections are recombined, and so on, until a final "generation" of highest-performing additives is reached.

Fuel additives are needed to reduce deposits, left over from the combustion of gasoline, that build up on engine valves. The deposits eventually affect the performance of the valves, hindering engine efficiency. Additives latch onto waste material, preventing it from settling on the surfaces of valves.

The work was detailed in a poster presentation Wednesday, July 21, during the Fifth International Conference on Foundations of Computer-Aided Process Design (http://www.ecs.umass.edu/che/FOCAPD99) in Breckenridge, Colo. The paper was written by Venkatasubramanian, graduate students Anantha Sundaram and Prasenjeet Ghosh, chemical engineering Professor James M. Caruthers, all from Purdue, and chemist Daniel T. Daly from Lubrizol Corp. in Wickliffe, Ohio, which funded the research.

Genetic algorithms are not limited to the design of gasoline additives. They have been used in other applications and might become a major force in the design of future drugs, plastics and other products, Venkatasubramanian says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Computers Use Darwinian Model To "Evolve" Fuel Additives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990722064348.htm>.
Purdue University. (1999, July 22). Computers Use Darwinian Model To "Evolve" Fuel Additives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990722064348.htm
Purdue University. "Computers Use Darwinian Model To "Evolve" Fuel Additives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/07/990722064348.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins