Characterization of Renewable Fuels and Additives with the Advanced Distillation Curve Method
Thomas J. Bruno, Tara M. Lovestead, Bret Windom
The analysis of complex fluids such as fuels poses significant challenges arising primarily from the multiplicity of components, the different properties of the components (polarity, polarizability, etc) and matrix properties (such as dirty samples). Despite this, the pressure to develop alternative fuels and extenders for existing fuels makes overcoming these challenges a critical requirement. We have recently introduced an analytical strategy that simplifies many of these analyses, and provides the added potential of linking analytical information with physical property information. This aspect can be used to facilitate equation of state development for the complex fluids. In addition to chemical characterization, the approach provides the ability to calculate thermodynamic and transport properties for such complex heterogeneous streams. The technique is based on the advanced distillation curve (ADC) metrology, which separates a complex fluid by distillation into fractions that are sampled, and for which thermodynamically consistent temperatures are measured at atmospheric pressure. The collected sample fractions can be analyzed by any method that is appropriate. The analytical methods we have applied include gas chromatography (with flame ionization, mass spectrometric and sulfur chemiluminescence detection), thin layer chromatography, FTIR, corrosivity analysis, neutron activation analysis and cold neutron prompt gamma activation analysis. We have applied this method on finished fuels (gasoline, diesel fuels, aviation fuels, rocket propellants), renewable fuels and mixtures of fuels with bio-derived fuel additives. In this poster we describe the essential features of the advanced distillation curve metrology, and concentrate on applications to renewable alternatives and additives to petroleum based fuels.