Application Report ADU 5: Distillation of Ethanol-Containing Gasoline

E50 is an important temperature point in gasoline specification. Gasoline oxygenate blends with higher ethanol content show an azeotropic effect which have significant influence on the temperature slope and have special requirements for heater control.

Distillation tests are used to characterize the volatility of petrochemical products. These volatility characteristics are a critical measurement of the overall performance and safety of hydrocarbon-based fuels.

Petroleum distillation according to ASTM D86 is one of the most common methods used to determine the boiling range characteristics of petroleum products. Since this method is so well established, it still provides the best basis for assessing the behavior of products and processes.

ASTM D86 is applicable to ethanol-fuel blends with ethanol content greater than 10 %. This was concluded after conducting an interlaboratory study with 15 different samples containing a different percentage of ethanol.

Better Performance

ADU 5 is a fully automated, stand-alone distillation unit which is operated by touchscreen interface. This makes it the ideal solution for performing high-precision atmospheric distillation tests for petroleum products. The unit is prepared for automatic dry point detection.

By using the heater control mode for ethanol containing gasoline the performance of ADU 5 can be significantly improved for the distillation rate of ethanol containing gasolines with an ethanol content between 10 % and 20 %.

While there is a characteristic drop in distillation rate at about 50 % of volume, this drop does not occur anymore when using the ethanol containing gasoline heater controlling mode.

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