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Fuels, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 9 articles

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Article
Modeling the Coal Tar Pitch Primary Carbonization Process
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 698-729; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040042 - 26 Nov 2022
Viewed by 160
Abstract
The properties of the carbon materials obtained as the final product of coal tar pitch carbonization process are a consequence of the type of chemical and physical phenomena occurring through the process. A new simplified approach for modeling of the primary carbonization is [...] Read more.
The properties of the carbon materials obtained as the final product of coal tar pitch carbonization process are a consequence of the type of chemical and physical phenomena occurring through the process. A new simplified approach for modeling of the primary carbonization is presented to provide the semi-quantitative knowledge about the process useful for improving the efficiency of the industries that deal with this process. The proposed approach is based on defining thermodynamic and kinetic equations simply representing numerous phenomena happening during primary carbonization. Partial pressures of emitted volatiles in a simple pitch system are studied. The model enables estimating the mass and enthalpy changes of pitch through thermal treatment consistent with experimental data for mass losses of pitch heat treated up to 550 °C. Application of the model to describe molecular weight distribution changes of pitch during primary carbonization is demonstrated, showing a good agreement between the presented results and the investigations reported by Greinke. For the first time, the effect of important parameters in pitch carbonization, such as the heating rate of the pitch and the carrier gas flow rate, on the emission rate of volatiles is successfully modeled. The present model is well able to estimate the energy requirement for thermal treatment of pitch up to 350 °C. Full article
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Article
Investigating the Effect of Volatiles on Sub-23 nm Particle Number Measurements for a Downsized GDI Engine with a Catalytic Stripper and Digital Filtering
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 682-697; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040041 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 186
Abstract
Recent efforts of both researchers and regulators regarding particulate emissions have focused on the contribution and presence of sub-23 nm particulates. Despite being previously excluded from emissions legislation with the particle measurement programme (PMP), the latest regulatory proposals suggest lowering the cut-off sizes [...] Read more.
Recent efforts of both researchers and regulators regarding particulate emissions have focused on the contribution and presence of sub-23 nm particulates. Despite being previously excluded from emissions legislation with the particle measurement programme (PMP), the latest regulatory proposals suggest lowering the cut-off sizes for counting efficiencies and the use of catalytic strippers to include solid particles in this size range. This work investigated particulate emissions of a 1.0 L gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine using a differential mobility spectrometer (DMS) in combination with a catalytic stripper. Direct comparison of measurements taken with and without the catalytic stripper reveals that the catalytic stripper noticeably reduced variability in sub-23 nm particle concentration measurements. A significant portion of particles in this size regime remained (58–92%), suggesting a non-volatile nature for these particles. Digital filtering functions for imposing defined counting efficiencies were assessed with datasets acquired with the catalytic stripper; i.e., particle size distributions (PSDs) with removed volatiles. An updated filtering function for counting efficiency thresholds of d65 = 10 nm and d90 = 15 nm showed an increase in particulate numbers between 1.5% and up to 11.2%, compared to the closest previous digital filtering function. However, this increase is highly dependent on the underlying PSD. For a matrix of operating conditions (1250 to 2250 rpm and fast-idle to 40 Nm brake torque), the highest emissions occurred at fast-idle 1250 rpm with 1.93 × 108 #/cm3 using the updated filtering function and catalytic stripper. This setup showed an increase in particulate number of +27% to +390% over the test matrix when compared to DMS measurements without the catalytic stripper and applied counting efficiency thresholds of d50 = 23 nm and d90 = 41. Full article
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Article
Deflagration-to-Detonation Transition in Stochiometric Propane–Hydrogen–Air Mixtures
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 667-681; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040040 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 212
Abstract
Hydrocarbon–hydrogen blends are often considered as perspective environmentally friendly fuels for power plants, piston engines, heating appliances, home stoves, etc. However, the addition of hydrogen to a hydrocarbon fuel poses a potential risk of accidental explosion due to the high reactivity of hydrogen. [...] Read more.
Hydrocarbon–hydrogen blends are often considered as perspective environmentally friendly fuels for power plants, piston engines, heating appliances, home stoves, etc. However, the addition of hydrogen to a hydrocarbon fuel poses a potential risk of accidental explosion due to the high reactivity of hydrogen. In this manuscript, the detonability of stoichiometric C3H8–H2–air mixtures is studied experimentally in terms of the run-up time and distance of deflagration to detonation transition (DDT). The hydrogen volume fraction in the mixtures varied from 0 to 1. Three different configurations of detonation tubes were used to ensure the DDT in the mixtures of the various compositions. The measured dependences of the DDT run-up time and distance on the hydrogen volume fraction were found to be nonlinear and, in some cases, nonmonotonic with local maxima. Blended fuel detonability is shown to increase sharply only at a relatively large hydrogen volume fraction (above 70%), i.e., the addition of hydrogen to propane in amounts less than 70% vol. does not affect the detonability of the blended fuel significantly. The observed nonlinear/nonmonotonic dependences are shown to be the manifestation of the physicochemical properties of hydrogen-containing mixtures. An increase in the hydrogen volume fraction is accompanied by effects leading to both an increase and a decrease in mixture sensitivity to the DDT. Thus, on the one hand, the increase in the hydrogen volume fraction increases the mixture sensitivity to DDT due to an increase in the laminar flame velocity and a decrease in the self-ignition delay at isotherms above 1000 K and pressures relevant to DDT. On the other hand, the mixture sensitivity to DDT decreases due to the increase in the speed of sound in the hydrogen-containing mixture, thus leading to a decrease in the Mach number of the lead shock wave propagating ahead of the flame, and to a corresponding increase in the self-ignition delay. Moreover, for C3H8–H2–air mixtures at isotherms below 1000 K and pressures relevant to DDT, the self-ignition delay increases with hydrogen volume fraction. Full article
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Article
Use of Biomass as Alternative Fuel in Magnesia Sector
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 642-666; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040039 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 414
Abstract
The European Union has started a progressive decarbonization pathway with the aim to become carbon neutral by 2050. Energy-intensive industries (EEIs) are expected to play an important role in this transition as they represent 24% of the final energy consumption. To stay competitive [...] Read more.
The European Union has started a progressive decarbonization pathway with the aim to become carbon neutral by 2050. Energy-intensive industries (EEIs) are expected to play an important role in this transition as they represent 24% of the final energy consumption. To stay competitive as EEI, a clear and consistent long-term strategy is required. In the magnesia sector, an essential portion of CO2 emissions result from solid fossil fuels (MgCO3, pet coke) during the production process. This study concerns the partial substitution of fossil fuels with biomass to reduce carbon emissions. An experimental campaign is conducted by implementing a new low-NOx burner at the magnesia plant of Grecian Magnesite (GM). Life cycle assessment (LCA) is performed to quantify the carbon reduction potential of various biomass mixtures. The experimental analysis revealed that even with a 100% pet coke feed of the new NOx burner, NOx emissions are decreased by 41%, while the emissions of CO and SOx increase slightly. By applying a biomass/pet coke mixture as fuel input, where 50% of the required energy input results from biomass, a further 21% of NOx emission reduction is achieved. In this case, SOx and CO emissions are additionally reduced by 50% and 13%, respectively. LCA results confirmed the sustainable impact of applying biomass. Carbon emissions could be significantly decreased by 32.5% for CCM products to 1.51 ton of CO2eq and by 38.2% for DBM products to 1.64 ton of CO2eq per ton of MgO in a best case scenario. Since the calcination of MgCO3 releases an essential and unavoidable amount of CO2 naturally bound in the mineral, biomass usage as a fuel is a promising way to become sustainable and resilient against future increased CO2 prices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Sustainable Technologies in Biofuel Production)
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Article
Energy Recovery Potential from Effluents in the Process Industry: System Dynamics Modeling and Techno-Economic Assessments
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 627-641; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040038 - 04 Nov 2022
Viewed by 200
Abstract
This study quantifies the effluents generated during processing in three industry types, estimates the energy potential from the quantified effluents in the form of biogas generation, and determines the economic viability of the biogas recovered. Data were procured from the relevant scientific publications [...] Read more.
This study quantifies the effluents generated during processing in three industry types, estimates the energy potential from the quantified effluents in the form of biogas generation, and determines the economic viability of the biogas recovered. Data were procured from the relevant scientific publications to quantify the effluents generated from the production processes in the industry types examined, using industrial process calculations. The effluent data generated are used in the 2-module biogas energy recovery model to estimate the bioenergy recovery potential within it. Economic and financial analysis is based on a cash-flow comparison of all costs and benefits resulting from its activities. The effluents generated an average daily biogas of 2559 Nm3/gVS, having a daily potential combined heat and power of 0.52 GWh and 0.11 GWh, respectively. The life cycle analysis and cost-benefit analysis show the quantity of emissions avoided when using the effluents to generate heat and power for processes, along with the profitability of the approach. Conclusively, the study shows that the use of biomass effluents to generate biogas for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a viable one, based on the technologies of a reciprocating engine, gas turbine, microturbine, and fuel cell. However, it is recommended that the theoretical estimation be validated using a field-scale project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
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Review
Three Pillars of Advanced Biofuels’ Sustainability
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 607-626; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040037 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 305
Abstract
Today, reducing GHG emissions is an important goal worldwide. Initially, first-generation biofuels were considered as a solution; however, they created a conflict between food and fuel. Advanced biofuels, which use non-edible materials, have emerged and are becoming more widespread, thus resolving this conflict. [...] Read more.
Today, reducing GHG emissions is an important goal worldwide. Initially, first-generation biofuels were considered as a solution; however, they created a conflict between food and fuel. Advanced biofuels, which use non-edible materials, have emerged and are becoming more widespread, thus resolving this conflict. The paper aimed to investigate the three pillars of advanced biofuels’ sustainability (economic, environmental, and social). In the frame of a systematic literature review, 41 out of the initially screened 3407 articles were analyzed in depth. The economic aspect of sustainability was the most frequently occurring topic, followed by the environmental aspect, while the number of articles related to the social aspect was limited. From the economic point of view, all the analyzed articles agreed that advanced biofuels are far from commercialization at this stage; however, there are promising options related to different feedstocks or production technologies. Advanced biofuels perform unequivocally better environmentally than even conventional biofuels. For third-generation biofuels, negative net GHG emissions can even be possible, while fourth-generation biofuels can theoretically be produced from CO2. With respect to the social pillar, job creation was the core element of the articles analyzed. This can be experienced at the farm, production, and research levels. Although the commercialization of advanced biofuel production will take time, humanity must turn to them in order to avoid the food versus fuel problem, as well as to successfully fight against climate change and global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biofuel Value Chains: Innovations and Sustainability)
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Article
Impact of Biochar Addition in Microwave Torrefaction of Camelina Straw and Switchgrass for Biofuel Production
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 588-606; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040036 - 07 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 430
Abstract
The possibility of applying biochar in mild torrefaction treatment to improve the thermochemical characteristics of ground biomass was the focus of the study. Camelina straw and switchgrass were torrefied in a reactor using microwave irradiation at torrefaction temperatures of 250 °C and 300 [...] Read more.
The possibility of applying biochar in mild torrefaction treatment to improve the thermochemical characteristics of ground biomass was the focus of the study. Camelina straw and switchgrass were torrefied in a reactor using microwave irradiation at torrefaction temperatures of 250 °C and 300 °C with residence times 10, 15 and 20 min, under nitrogen-activated inert conditions. Both biochar addition of more than 10% and residence time significantly affected the product yields, as MW torrefaction temperatures shifted from 250 °C to 300 °C. Overall, the results indicated a slight increase in ash content, mass loss percentage intensification, heating values, and fixed carbon, while moisture content and volatile matter decreased in camelina straw and switchgrass, with or without biochar. Biochar addition with a long residence time (20 min) at 250 °C reduced energy requirement during the microwave torrefaction process. The combustion index values showed that torrefied camelina straw or switchgrass with biochar addition suits co-combustion with coal in a coal-fired plant and is a potential biomaterial for biofuel pellets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Fuels)
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Review
Sediment Organic Contents Required for Gas Hydrate Formation: A Survey of Published Basin and Hydrocarbon System Models
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 580-587; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040035 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 412
Abstract
Recent advances in basin and petroleum system modelling have allowed for the investigation of gas hydrate systems, including modelling of the generation, migration, and accumulation of biogenic and thermogenic gas within gas hydrate deposits. In this brief survey paper, the treatment of sediment [...] Read more.
Recent advances in basin and petroleum system modelling have allowed for the investigation of gas hydrate systems, including modelling of the generation, migration, and accumulation of biogenic and thermogenic gas within gas hydrate deposits. In this brief survey paper, the treatment of sediment organic properties (organic content and richness, expressed as total organic carbon and the hydrogen index) within previously published basin and petroleum system models of marine gas hydrate systems is reviewed. Eight studies (published between 2015 and 2020) are described and discussed. This review contributes to the state of knowledge in the field by reviewing existing modelling studies of gas hydrates and concludes with brief takeaways on important considerations and knowledge gaps in the state of basin and hydrocarbon system modelling of gas hydrate systems. Full article
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Article
Process Simulation and Design Considerations for Biodiesel Production from Rubber Seed Oil
Fuels 2022, 3(4), 563-579; https://doi.org/10.3390/fuels3040034 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 404
Abstract
Indonesia is one of the largest rubber producers worldwide. However, rubber seeds still garner less attention due to their low economic value. In fact, the rubber seeds contain 40–50% (w/w) of rubber seed oil (RSO), which is a potential candidate to [...] Read more.
Indonesia is one of the largest rubber producers worldwide. However, rubber seeds still garner less attention due to their low economic value. In fact, the rubber seeds contain 40–50% (w/w) of rubber seed oil (RSO), which is a potential candidate to be used as a feedstock in biodiesel production. In this regard, this study aims to model and simulate the production process of biodiesel from RSO via transesterification reaction, employing methanol and heterogeneous catalyst. The simulation was performed using ASPEN Hysys v11. Acid-based catalyzed esterification was implemented to eliminate soap formation, which may significantly lower biodiesel yield. The results showed that an RSO inlet rate of 1100 L/h with a methanol to oil molar ratio of 1:6 could generate around 1146 L/h biodiesel. Methanol recovery was conducted, an approximately 95% of excess methanol could be regenerated. Simulation results indicated that the properties of the biodiesel produced are compatible with modern diesel engines. Economic analysis also shows that this technology is promising, with excellent investment criteria. Full article
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