All fuel requirements can be roughly divided into four groups such as (1) those related to engine operation, (2) transportation and handling, (3) mass production, and (4) the environment.
Evaporation is considered to be the most important performance characteristic of fuel. It is characterized by (1) fractional composition of fuel, (2) pressure of the saturated vapor, and (3) antiknock rating. The environmental requirements impose restrictions on the non-saturated aromatic hydrocarbons, sulphur compounds, and antiknock agents.
The Fuel Analysis
The typical fuel found at gas stations is a mixture is the result of various technological processes.
The GlobeCore USB type blending units, for production of multicomponent fuels, has gained a wide popularity recently. Operating properties of fuel depend on the content and the interaction of the hydrocarbons.
The quality of the product, or its components, is assessed at the oil refineries by laboratory methods that provide information about physical and chemical characteristics of the product. Then, the results are compared with the characteristics specified in special regulations.
Special attention is paid to such fuel characteristics as the octane number (determined on the basis of motor and research methods), density, fraction composition, the content of lead and oxygen, aromatic compounds, and other performance characteristics.
The quality of the blending components and the characteristics of the final product should be under strict control in the course of the compounding process. Product quality analysis is realized by the online analyzer (analyzer in the infrared region). It allows the operators to obtain results quickly as well as to take a wide range of the additional readings (apart from the basic ones) from one sample. The monitoring of the blending processes is realized due to the automation process.
The analysis of the blending process quality allow the operators to fulfil such tasks as:
(1) to improve the output quality;
(2) to reduce the costs for laboratory tests; and
(3) to receive information on the process parameters in the real-time.
The octane number may be received no earlier than in 1 hour due to the standard laboratory-based methods. But, in fact, this process typicall takes 2 or 3 hours.
It is however, the octane number that may be determined by the rapid test methods that have gained widespread acceptance. These methods are based on the spectral analysis, including the analysis of the IR (infrared) region.
Fuel is characterized by the IR spectrum, which allows the operators to define such characteristics of fuel as its fractional composition and the octane number.