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Journal Article

Lignin Derivatives as Potential Octane Boosters

Owing to environmental and health concerns, tetraethyl lead was gradually phased out from the early 1970's to mid-1990's in most developed countries. Advances in refining, leading to more aromatics (via reformate) and iso-paraffins such as iso-octane, along with the introduction of (bio) oxygenates such as MTBE, ETBE and ethanol, facilitated the removal of lead without sacrificing RON and MON. In recent years, however, legislation has been moving in the direction of curbing aromatic and olefin content in gasoline, owing to similar concerns as was the case for lead. Meanwhile, concerns over global warming and energy security have motivated research into renewable fuels. Amongst which are those derived from biomass. The feedstock of interest in this study is lignin, which, together with hemicellulose and cellulose, is amongst the most abundant organic compounds on the planet.
Technical Paper

Styrofoam Precursors as Drop-in Diesel Fuel

Styrene, or ethylbenzene, is mainly used as a monomer for the production of polymers, most notably Styrofoam. In the synthetis of styrene, the feedstock of benzene and ethylene is converted into aromatic oxygenates such as benzaldehyde, 2-phenyl ethanol and acetophenone. Benzaldehyde and phenyl ethanol are low value side streams, while acetophenone is a high value intermediate product. The side streams are now principally rejected from the process and burnt for process heat. Previous in-house research has shown that such aromatic oxygenates are suitable as diesel fuel additives and can in some cases improve the soot-NOx trade-off. In this study acetophenone, benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol are each added to commercial EN590 diesel at a ratio of 1:9, with the goal to ascertain whether or not the lower value benzaldehyde and 2-phenyl ethanol can perform on par with the higher value acetophenone. These compounds are now used in pure form.
Technical Paper

Spray Analysis of the PFAMEN Injector

In an earlier study, a novel type of diesel fuel injector was proposed. This prototype injects fuel via porous (sintered) micro pores instead of via the conventional 6-8 holes. The micro pores are typically 10-50 micrometer in diameter, versus 120-200 micrometer in the conventional case. The expected advantages of the so-called Porous Fuel Air Mixing Enhancing Nozzle (PFAMEN) injector are lower soot- and CO2 emissions. However, from previous in-house measurements, it has been concluded that the emissions of the porous injector are still not satisfactory. Roughly, this may have multiple reasons. The first one is that the spray distribution is not good enough, the second one is that the droplet sizing is too big due to the lack of droplet breakup. Furthermore air entrainment into the fuel jets might be insufficient. All reasons lead to fuel rich zones and associated soot formation.