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Module 2: Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Ethanol and Hydrocarbon Fuels. Objective. Upon the completion of this module, participants will be able to describe the chemical & physical differences between gasoline & ethanol-blended fuels. Introduction.

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Module 2:

Chemical and Physical Characteristics of Ethanol and Hydrocarbon Fuels


Objective
Objective

  • Upon the completion of this module, participants will be able to describe the chemical & physical differences between gasoline & ethanol-blended fuels.


Introduction
Introduction

  • Characteristics of polar solvents & hydrocarbons, their differences, & how they interact

  • Conditions under which ethanol-blended fuels will retain popular solvent characteristics as compared to all hydrocarbon characteristics


Characteristics of gasoline
Characteristics of Gasoline

  • Insoluble in water

  • Produced from crude oil by fractional distillation

  • Not considered poisonous:

    • Harmful effects after long-term & high-level exposure

  • Smoke from burning gasoline is black & has toxic components

  • Greatest hazard is flammability:

    • Fairly narrow range of flammability

      • 1.4% - 7.2% by volume in air


Gasoline production
Gasoline Production

David Parsons/NREL


Characteristics of ethanol
Characteristics of Ethanol

  • Renewable fuel source produced by fermentation & distillation processes

  • Most common feedstock in U.S. is corn

  • Ethanol used with motor fuels must be denatured with 2% - 5% gasoline or similar hydrocarbon before transport to a bulk storage facilities

  • Denaturant has minimal effects on characteristic


Ethanol production

Feed Stock

Steam

Alpha Amylase Enzyme

Cooking

Cooling

Cooling Water

Gluco Amylase Enzyme

Saccharification

Cooling

Cooling Water

CO2

Yeast

Cooling Water

Yeast Propagation

Fermentation

Cooling Water

Beer Stripping

Steam

Non volatiles

Beer Rectification

Cooling Water

190 Proof

Cooling Water

Steam

Dehydration

200 Proof

Denature

Natural Gasoline

Rust Inhibitor

Storage & Transportation

Ethanol Production


Characteristics of ethanol1
Characteristics of Ethanol

  • Ethanol is produced by fermenting corn, conversion of corn starch into ethanol

    • Sophisticated grain handling equipment present at ethanol production facilities

    • Co-products from ethanol production include distillers dried grains, a high protein animal feed & CO2

  • Future feedstocks will expand to include corn cobs & stover, switchgrass, sugar cane


Characteristics of denatured fuel ethanol
Characteristics of Denatured Fuel Ethanol

  • Polar solvent

  • Totally miscible in water

  • Less toxic than gasoline/methanol

  • Toxic compounds not present in ethanol

  • Greatest hazard as motor fuel component is flammability

    • Wider flammable range than gasoline:

      • 3% - 19% by volume in air


Characteristics of ethanol2
Characteristics of Ethanol

  • In neat form, no visible smoke or visible flame

  • In denatured form, little to no smoke & slight orange flame will be visible

  • Ethanol & some ethanol-blends can conduct electricity

  • Large amounts of water required to dilute ethanol to no longer support combustion




Activity 2 1 comparison of gasoline and ethanol
Activity 2.1: Comparison of Gasoline and Ethanol

  • Purpose:

    • To allow participants to discuss the differences & similarities in the chemical & physical properties of ethanol & gasoline.


Characteristics of ethanol blended fuels
Characteristics of Ethanol-Blended Fuels

  • Ethanol increases the ability of gasoline to burn cleaner:

    • Lower emissions from unburned hydrocarbons

  • Water contamination of ethanol gasoline fuel blends may cause phase separation:

    • Phase separation will introduce a water layer in the bottom that consists of water & ethanol

    • All hydrocarbon gasoline will remain in the top layer


Characteristics of ethanol blended fuels1
Characteristics of Ethanol-Blended Fuels

  • Water contamination of ethanol gasoline fuel blends may cause phase separation:

    • Gasoline floating on layer of ethanol/water solution

    • Resulting ethanol/water solution still flammable


Characteristics of ethanol blended fuels2
Characteristics of Ethanol-Blended Fuels

  • Blending fuels alters physical & chemical characteristics of original fuels:

    • Visual difference of smoke & flame characteristics:

      • Higher content of ethanol, less visible black smoke content & orange flame production


Characteristics of ethanol blended fuels3
Characteristics of Ethanol-Blended Fuels

  • Blending fuels alters physical & chemical characteristics of original fuels:

    • When foam/water flowed on burning product, gasoline tends to burn off first:

      • May have no visible smoke as the hydrocarbon burns off leaving only the ethanol burning


Activity 2 2 definitions
Activity 2.2: Definitions

  • Purpose:

    • To allow participants to identify the definitions related to ethanol & ethanol-blended fuels.


Worksheet 2 2 definitions
Worksheet 2.2: Definitions

  • Polar solvent

  • Oleophilic

  • Toxicity

  • Ethanol

  • Boiling point

  • Vapor density

  • Flammable range

    • Upper explosive limit (UEL)

    • Lower explosive limit (LEL)

  • Hydrophilic

    • Water miscible

  • Flash point

  • Combustible liquid

  • Flammable liquid

  • Hydrocarbon

  • Hydrophobic

    • Non-water miscible

  • Specific gravity

  • Auto-ignition temperature


Summary
Summary

  • Ethanol is a polar solvent, miscible with water, & flammable

  • Higher content of ethanol, less visible black smoke content, & orange flame production

  • Blend of gasoline & ethanol can easily go unnoticed by emergency responders:

    • Ethanol will be last fuel to burn

    • Ethanol can burn without visible smoke


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