Cetane Sensor for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Propulsion Systems that Operate on Heavy Fuel
ABSTRACT: The Cetane numbers for individual fuel components have been extensively tabulated To determine the Cetane number of the resulting fuel blend, algorithmic models have been developed that provide accuracy on a par with standard lab-based cetane tests. Utilizing comprehensive two dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) to provide an rapid extensive analysis of the fuel will allow the use of these tables and algorithms to calculate cetane numbers for the fuel in remotely piloted aircraft. Typical commercial GCxGC instrumentation is too large to be appropriate for this application, however the use of microfabricated components allows us to reduce the size and power requirements of these instruments by several orders of magnitude. During Phase 1 we propose to develop a method to analyze the cetane number using a microfabricated GCXGC system with nanofabricated NEMS resonators for detection, optimize an algorithm for cetane number calculation, and demonstrate the system in a benchtop scale system. BENEFIT: The development of a method for rapid cetane number determination in a small portable package offers a technology valuable not only to military customers but also civilian petrochemical refiners, and distributers.
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