Estimating Chemical and Bulk Properties of Middle Distillate Fuels from Near-Infrared Spectra
Interim rept. Oct 1993-May 1999
SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INST SAN ANTONIO TXBELVOIR FUELS AND LUBRICANTS RESEARCHFACILITY
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Recent military operations have identified an immediate need for a rapid means of identifying and analyzing fuels in the field. Fuel types requiring analysis are primarily those for ground vehicles and support equipment including diesel gasoline and kerosene. The use of improper or contaminated fuels can be detrimental to equipment resulting in more frequent maintenance problems shortened lifetimes of fuel-related components e.g. fuel filter and in some cases complete failure. As a result an increase in combat service support on or near the battlefield is required as maintenance personnel and spare parts must be readily available. Common contaminants in fuels include water biological growth and by-products of normal fuel degradation. In addition the quality of host nation fuel resources and captured fuels may be inferior Other than visual inspection the only means available for analyzing fuels of questionable quality in the field requires transportation to a non-combat site mobile laboratory or other facility with analytical equipment. Therefore the military is interested in acquiring simple rugged instrumentation appropriate for field use and capable of rapidly determining fuel type and quality. Although a number of analytical techniques are available for fuel analysis only a handful are useful in determining a fuels suitability for consumption. Some of these include density viscosity aromatic content net heat of combustion cetane number boiling point and the cold temperature properties e.g. cloud point pour point freeze point. Furthermore some of these properties e.g. density and net heat of combustion may be used to discriminate fuel type. Chemometrics is a branch of chemistry that uses mathematical and statistical routines to model a variety of chemical and physical properties.