The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $1 million grant to a team of researchers at Stony Brook University to develop ultra-efficient low-emission vehicles.

The scientists will focus on a technology called reactivity controlled compression ignition, which increases the efficiency inside combustion engines. The system requires using two different fuels at once, often gasoline and diesel, which has dissuaded automakers from adopting it.

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"We hope to discover an efficient and cost-effective way to employ [the technology] using one fuel," Benjamin Lawler, an assistant professor in Stony Brook's mechanical engineering department, said Thursday.

The funding is one of eight grants, totaling $10 million, awarded by the Energy Department to promote the development of efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.