Biodiesel quality sensing using spectroscopy and artificial intelligence


Zawadzki, Artur Konrad.. (2008). Biodiesel quality sensing using spectroscopy and artificial intelligence. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Biodiesel quality sensing using spectroscopy and artificial intelligence
Zawadzki, Artur Konrad.
Biodiesel fuels--Quality control--Testing Ultraviolet spectroscopy Artificial Intelligence
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Biodiesel has widely been accepted as an alternative to diesel fuel, yet it has some quality issues originating mainly from its production process. One of the main biodiesel quality concerns is the presence of free glycerol and glycerides that can cause problems during biodiesel storage and in engines. Additionally, biodiesel is often blended with diesel fuel. Determination of biodiesel-diesel blend level is important for many reasons, including decisions on fuel storage, usage and price. Consequently, the work presented here was aimed at developing methods for glycerol and blend level determination that could be a cost-effective alternative to the existing standard laboratory procedures and affordable for biodiesel producers and users.;Application of ultraviolet, visible and short-wavelength near-infrared spectroscopy was evaluated as an approach to biodiesel quality sensing. Artificial intelligence techniques allowed analyzing and enhancing the correlation of spectra features with the examined biodiesel properties. This work addresses detecting two biodiesel properties: free glycerol content and biodiesel-diesel blend level.;For the free glycerol sensing, a turbidimetry-based method was proposed. The method utilizes the differences in absorbance at 600 nm after mixing biodiesel with deionized water. The differences in absorbance of the samples containing various amounts of free glycerol were statistically significant. It was shown that turbidimetry could serve as a relatively simple and inexpensive technique for free glycerol estimation in biodiesel.;For the biodiesel-diesel blend level detection, the use of absorption spectroscopy was proposed. The blend level was measured using three different absorption regions: visible, ultraviolet, and near-infrared. In the visible range the blend absorption was dependent on biodiesel feedstock. In the ultraviolet range the blend absorption was not dependent on feedstock but on the kind of diesel when specific dilution conditions were applied. In the near-infrared range the dependence on feedstock was also noticeable, but the application of a longer absorption pathlength in combination with artificial intelligence techniques allowed reducing the influence of the feedstock and diesel type on the results. All three methods for the blend level sensing utilized a UV/Vis spectrophotometer operating in the wavelength range from 190 to 1100 nm that belongs to standard equipment available in most laboratories.
Thesis (Ph. D., Biological and Agricultural Engineering)--University of Idaho, May 2008.
Major Professor:
Dev S. Shrestha.
Defense Date:
May 2008.
Format Original:
xiv, 127 leaves :ill. ;29 cm.

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