Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Device to detect biodiesel contamination developed

Date:
September 5, 2013
Source:
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Summary:
A professor and student team has developed a quick and easy-to-use sensor that can detect trace amounts of biodiesel contamination in diesel.

The probability of contamination of diesel fuel is increasing as biodiesel becomes more popular and as distribution and supply systems use the same facilities to store and transport the 2 types of fuels.

In 2010, a Cathay Pacific Airways plane was arriving in Hong Kong when the engine control thrusts seized up and it was forced to make a hard landing -- injuring dozens. The potential culprit? Contaminated fuel.

The probability of contamination of diesel fuel is increasing as biodiesel becomes more popular and as distribution and supply systems use the same facilities to store and transport the two types of fuels.

A professor and student team at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has developed a quick and easy-to-use sensor that can detect trace amounts of biodiesel contamination in diesel.

The work of chemistry professor Ziling (Ben) Xue and doctoral student Jonathan Fong has been published in the journal Chemical Communications.

"The ability to detect biodiesel at various concentrations in diesel is an important goal in several industries," said Xue. "There is particular concern over biodiesel contamination in jet fuel, because at higher levels it can impact the thermal stability and freezing point of jet fuel leading to deposits in the fuel system or gelling of the fuel. These issues can result in jet engine operability problems and possible engine flameout."

Xue and Fong tested several dyes and found that the dye Nile blue chloride dissolved in alcohol, can be made into a thin film with high sensitivity toward biodiesel contamination in jet fuel. They tested small strips of the sensor and found it could successfully detect amounts of biodiesel contaminant in diesel as low as 0.5 parts per million -- ten times below the allowable limit of 5 ppm in the U.S. -- in less than 30 minutes.

With diesel, because it does not displace alcohol in the dye, the sensor remains blue. However, biodiesel replaces the alcohol, changing the sensor color to pink. This change can be seen with the naked eye.

"Right now, there is a dire need for quick, easy and direct detection of biodiesel in diesel and biodiesel-diesel blends to ensure safe and efficient-performing fuels," said Fong. "The sensors we developed are intrinsically small, easy to use, inexpensive and can be mass produced for disposable applications"

The researchers say the sensor can be deployed in a portable reader for use in the field. The sensor can also be used for drivers delivering biodiesel-diesels to gas stations to quickly verify that the blends are accurate.

They are working with the UT Research Foundation to find partners to commercialize the technology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jonathan K. Fong, Zi-Ling Xue. A dye-doped optical sensor for the detection of biodiesel in diesel. Chemical Communications, 2013; DOI: 10.1039/C3CC43958E

Cite This Page:

University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Device to detect biodiesel contamination developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905203022.htm>.
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. (2013, September 5). Device to detect biodiesel contamination developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905203022.htm
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Device to detect biodiesel contamination developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130905203022.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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