Biofuel Industry News

Easy-to-Use Portable Infrared Analysers Measure Biodiesel and Ethanol Blend Levels in Under One Minute

Aug 06 2009 Read 1151 Times

As more countries are looking at reducing foreign oil dependence and using cleaner burning fuels, the amount of ethanol and biodiesel blended into petroleum based fuel is increasing rapidly. Wilks Enterprise (USA) has just published a new application data sheet describing a simple method for measuring biofuels blend ratios. With the development of biofuels programs, there is an growing need for easy-to-use methods to ensure the specified blend ratios. Tax incentives and government regulations are often based on % biofuel, making it important to have an accurate measurement system. The InfraCal Blend Analysers are rugged, compact, portable and easy to use by non-technical personnel. They provide a direct readout in either % biodiesel or % ethanol giving the user the capability to measure the blend ratio on-site -- at a fuel loading rack, in a laboratory, or from a pump at a fueling station – in less than one minute.

The InfraCal Blend Analysers are fixed-filter infrared analyzers that, unlike FTIR spectrometers, have no moving parts and an insignificant optical air path making them portable, rugged and suitable for use in a field environment. Weighing less than 5 lbs., they can be operated from a battery pack or a cigarette lighter adapter cable and include an RS 232 interface for data transmission to a PC. For analysis, the fuel sample is placed directly on the exposed ATR sample window, a “run” button is selected and the result is display in 15 seconds. After analysis; the fuel is easily cleaned off with a wipe. Biodiesel has a characteristic infrared absorption band at 5.7 microns (1754 cm-1) and ethanol at 9.6 microns (1045 cm-1). As the biodiesel or ethanol percentage increases, the infrared absorbance increases which directly correlates to percent concentration. The InfraCal Analysers can easily measure 0-100% biodiesel and 0-98% ethanol.

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