Fuel/Oxygenates and Lubricant Interactions

Capability Title Fuel/Oxygenates and lubricant interactions
Laboratory Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
Capability expert L. Cosimbescu (PNNL)
Description PNNL has developed a unique approach to evaluate fuel-lubricant interactions and stability. In this system, mixtures of fuel components (oxygenates, BOB) and various lubricant components are heated in a closed vessel to a target temperature for the desired length of time. This approach can monitor oxygenate-induced changes in fuel or lubricant components via gas chromatography (GC-FID) down to ~0.1% and confirmed by analysis via nuclear magnetic resonance and GC-mass spectrometry. The experimental set-up requires 20mL total volume and can be easily scaled up if needed. The conditions can be tuned to address specific applications (time, temperature, concentration, doping levels).

The base fuel and oxygenate volatility must be low enough such that target temperature can be reached without gas evolution in the reactor headspace.

The mixture becomes quite complex and identification of newly formed byproducts requires a larger scale experiment, followed by separations (distillation, chromatography) and then full suite of analyses (NMR, GC-MS, elemental analysis) to identify products and mechanisms of degradation.

Unique aspects Quickly assess compatibility of fuel-lubricant mixtures
GC-FID sensitive to subtle transformations (0.1%)
Protocol applicable to all fuels and oxygenates including finished fuels (containing a detergent package)
Requires small volume of materials
Chemical characterization of degradation products
Availability At all times