Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Improving sensors that monitor diesel fuel quality

Date:
July 26, 2010
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
Sensors currently used to monitor the quality of diesel fuel and biodiesel blended fuels during engine operation are unable to adequately detect certain important fuel quality concerns.Researchers are now working to develop new technologies to improve these commercially-available sensors.

Sensors currently used to monitor the quality of diesel fuel and biodiesel blended fuels during engine operation are unable to adequately detect certain important fuel quality concerns. Alan Hansen, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois, and his colleagues are working to develop new technologies to improve these commercially-available sensors.

Related Articles


"Our research is contributing to the development of a sensor that, when placed in the fuel line prior to where the fuel enters a diesel engine, can detect if there are any contaminants in or other problems with the fuel," Hansen said. "Also, if biodiesel is used, the sensor would determine the quality and quantity of biodiesel entering the engine."

Biodiesel, a renewable fuel derived from natural oils like soybean oil, is typically blended at 2 to 5 percent with regular diesel fuel.

"In some cases, engine manufacturers will support warranties on engines using higher percentages of biodiesel -- up to 20 percent. However, they are reluctant to support engines running too much biodiesel because there is some concern that it would affect the engine in a negative way," Hansen said.

Hansen is investigating the use of electrochemical sensors to detect contaminants and other quality issues that today's sensors are missing. By using electrochemical processes, the sensors are expected to be significantly more sensitive to the chemical composition of diesel fuel.

"Electrochemical sensors can be designed to detect specific chemicals, such as sulfur or sulfur-based compounds," he said. "One could then create a system to warn the operator or shut down the engine when the fuel has high sulfur content."

Sulfur is an important contaminant to monitor in diesel fuel, as it can contribute to the release of harmful exhaust emissions. Sulfur damages the catalysts in filters that are part of the engine's after-treatment system. Such filters are needed to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) strict regulations on emissions levels.

"To stay within the EPA's emissions limits, it is no longer possible to simply optimize the combustion process. We now have to capture some of the emissions after the engine, using filters or other methods," Hansen said.

Hansen also noted that when sulfur is involved in the combustion process, it creates sulfuric acid, which is a very corrosive by-product that can damage the engine.

"We've run tests to evaluate how well current sensors work with a range of different fuels, including biodiesel blends. The tests have shown us the limitations of the sensors," Hansen said. "If we can improve these sensors to successfully detect sulfur and monitor other diesel fuel quality concerns, it will be an important breakthrough."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Improving sensors that monitor diesel fuel quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726124414.htm>.
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. (2010, July 26). Improving sensors that monitor diesel fuel quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726124414.htm
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "Improving sensors that monitor diesel fuel quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100726124414.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins