Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-2451
2008-10-06

Innovative on Board Optical Sensor Dedicated to Measure Water, Alcohols and Ethers Content in Biofuels for Flexfuel Engine Optimization 2008-01-2451

Tighter CO2 emissions regulations combined with gasoline price increase and oil independency political strategies push to facilitate bio fuels introduction and corresponding flexfuel engines.
Bio fuels can be produced from agricultural feedstocks such as corn, wheat, barley, sugar cane, soybean, sunflower and rapeseed for instance. It can also be made from renewable cellulosic materials like jathropa, forestry waste, wood waste, and agricultural residues.
Increasing the amount of biofuel in the gasoline or diesel allows to reduce Carbon/Hydrogen rate by substituting Carbon atoms by Oxygen atoms to a maximum limit. Associated with dedicated flexfuel engines and technologies, there is a strong potential to reduce the net carbon dioxide emissions on a vehicle mile basis.
A disruptive technology developed since 2004 using a rough optical device is available today. Based on fuel molecular structure identification, the smart sensor uses HydroCarbon Profiling (HCP) approach to determine with a high degree of robustness and accuracy the amount and origin of oxygenate in the fuel, such as Ethanol content and ether content, accounting for the potential presence of water.
The Ethanol percent determined from this technology, being not impacted by the water content in the fuel offers more robust and accurate information to the Engine Management System. This shall facilitate faster introduction of high rate of Ethanol in fuels.
In addition, the system provides other outputs related to the fuel knock tendency, volatility, distillation and driveability. This allows better management of engine parameters such as air/fuel ratio, spark advance and injection timing to optimize cold and hot start, transient or heavy/full load operations.

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