Physiochemical properties and evaporation dynamics of bioalcohol-gasoline blends

After fermentation, the concentration of bioethanol is only 8-12 wt%. To produce anhydrous ethanol fuel, a significant amount of energy is required for separation and dehydration. Once the azeotrope composition is reached, distillation can no longer be exploited for purification and other expensive methods must be used. Replacing anhydrous ethanol fuel with hydrous ethanol (at the azeotrope composition) can result in significant energy and cost savings during production. Currently there is a lack of available thermophysical property data for hydrous ethanol gasoline fuel blends. This data is important to understand the effect of water on critical fuel properties and to evaluate the potential of using hydrous ethanol fuels in conventional and optimized spark ignition engines. In this study, the thermophysical properties, volatility behavior, evaporation dynamic, and mixing/sooting potential of various hydrous and anhydrous ethanol blends with gasoline were characterized. Results show that the properties of low and mid-level hydrous ethanol blends are not significantly different from those of anhydrous ethanol blends, suggesting that hydrous ethanol blends have the potential to be used in current internal combustion engines as a drop-in biofuel. Dual-alcohol approach, mixing lower and higher alcohols with gasoline to obtain a blend with a vapor pressure close to that of the base gasoline, is a potential way to circumvent issues with single alcohol blends. In second project, the azeotropic volatility behavior and mixing/sooting potential of dual-alcohol gasoline blends were studied by monitoring the distillation composition evolution and use of droplet evaporation model.
2018 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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