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  • Assuring Accurate Biodiesel and Ethanol Blend Measurements Using Portable Infrared Analysers Featured in New Application Note

Assuring Accurate Biodiesel and Ethanol Blend Measurements Using Portable Infrared Analysers Featured in New Application Note

Feb 02 2010 Read 788 Times

With the public image vacillating between food versus fuel issues and the environmental advantage of biofuels, it is important to keep quality blend standards high in order to further biofuels acceptance. Analytical testing equipment is essential to this goal. Portable mid-infrared analysers, such as the InfraCal Analysers from Wilks Enterprise, Inc., (USA) offer a quick analytical method to assess the blend ratio of either biodiesel in diesel or ethanol in gasoline and can be a valuable asset for fuel distributors, terminal managers, fleet operators, and regulatory agencies and are featured in a new application note.

As more mandates for minimum blends of ethanol in gasoline and biodiesel in diesel come into effect, major oil companies are mixing higher percentages at their terminals. Although manufacturers of in-line blending systems claim indisputable accuracy, a quick check for the correct blend gives real data to a claimed assumption.

The InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser and the InfraCal Ethanol Blend Analyser are preset to measure one wavelength specified for the measurement. The biodiesel ester has characteristic absorption in the mid-infrared at the carbonyl band (5.7 micrometers or 1745 cm-1). Ethanol has an infrared absorbance band unique to gasoline at 9.6 micrometers (1042 cm-1). The InfraCal Analysers are self contained with an internal calibration program and direct readout display. They are ideal instruments for use where a single, repetitive analysis is needed.

For multiple analysis capabilities, the InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer is a spectral range analyser that can measure ethanol in gasoline, water in ethanol/methanol as well as % biodiesel in diesel and some fuel contaminants. It is operated from a PC allowing for multiple calibrations, data storage and data transmission.

All of these analysers provide accurate and simple on-site analysis that takes less than 5 minutes. Having a quick analytical method and portable analysers to assess the fuel blend quality help the industry insure the high standards that are needed for public acceptance of biofuels.

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