Continuous Fuel Flow Measurements as an Alternative to Carbon Balance Fuel Economy

Continuous Fuel Flow Measurements as an Alternative to Carbon Balance Fuel Economy

The measurement of tailpipe carbon emissions, or “carbon-balance” emissions measurement has been the industry standard method of measuring fuel economy since the late 60s. While widely accepted as the standard, this measurement can be time consuming, expensive to conduct and can suffer from multiple sources of error if the techniques and instruments aren’t meticulously controlled. Modern technology allows Afton to execute fuel economy measurements in significantly cheaper, faster, and more precise ways.

While Afton maintains the ability to measure carbon balance fuel economy with our state of the art AVL indoor dynamometer lane, we have embraced continuous fuel flow measurement as the most precise, first-principles approach to quantify our products’ performance. 

Using volumetric (fuel volume) and gravimetric (fuel mass) measurements on all of our chassis-dynamometers, Afton is able to monitor the exact amount of fuel that the engine consumes each second of a test.  This means that over a standard 6000 mile performance test, we can record over half a million fuel flow data points to use in our product’s performance analysis.

A similar test using carbon-balance emissions typically only gives one aggregate result at the beginning of the test and another at the end.  Continuous fuel flow measurement, owing to the sheer volume of data collected, provides much greater statistical separation between different states of the vehicle, allowing us to determine changes in fuel economy with even greater statistical confidence than carbon-balance would provide.

There are still numerous occasions where emissions-based fuel economy is advantageous, and thus Afton retains expertise with both methods.  Our diverse capabilities to measure fuel economy are equally applicable to traditional PFI vehicles as well as modern GDI vehicles, providing confidence that our products work to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and improve vehicle efficiency regardless of the technology they interact with. 

Learn more about all things Gasoline Direct Injection and Afton’s involvement in GDI Fuel additive technology, visit the Afton GDI Headquarters.



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