March 2008

Special Report: Instruments and Networks

Chromatographic methods to analyze ethanol and gasoline/ethanol blends

These techniques offer better process control and can improve the bottom line

Mott, J., Taylor, M., Shimadzu Scientific Instruments, Inc.

As the cost of crude oil on the wholesale market continues to hover around $90/barrel, biofuels and fuel additives are receiving increasing amounts of attention from commercial refiners. This has been furthered by building public and scientific awareness of so-called "greenhouse gases" and their potential deleterious effects on the environment. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol (EtOH) is a high-octane fuel produced by fermenting plant sugars. It has been added to gasoline since the late 1970s and is currently used in approximately 46% of US retail gasoline produced for the transportation market. Until the late 1980s, EtOH's primary role in the fuels market was that of an octane enhancer, and it was

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