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Aluminium alloys ability to catalyse the oxidation of biodiesel: Development of a procedure to test alloys
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Biodiesel is a renewable and biodegradable fuel that has the possibility to replace conventional diesel fuel and reduce the environmental pollution. Despite its environmental benefits, it has been shown to cause damage to the vehicle engines, due to its oxidative properties. Different metals, such as copper, zinc and aluminium are present in the vehicle fuel system and have been shown to catalyse the oxidation of biodiesel. Several studies have been performed to investigate the interaction between these metals and fuel. However, some reports concluded contradicting results when it comes to the oxidation of biodiesel in contact with aluminium alloys. This project aimed therefore to investigate and create a simple method for comparing the catalytic effect on oxidation for metals, and use this method to evaluate the degradation rate of biodiesel in contact with aluminium alloys. Different heating methods and coating materials were tested using the biodiesel RME to develop the testing procedure. When a test procedure was established, three filter houses made from cast aluminium alloy and three aluminium ingots with different amount of copper were immersed in RME and the stability was evaluated. The results showed that using an oven at 80 °C to investigate the stability provided the most repeatable results, and the spray paint Auto K billack spray Universal appeared to be compatible to use with RME. The inner untreated surface of the fuel filter houses did not seem to increase the oxidation rate of biodiesel. Aluminium alloys with higher copper content degraded RME more than aluminium alloys with little/no copper, if the surface had been treated mechanically, but not to a large extent. This concludes that aluminium alloys may reduce the stability of biodiesel if it contains much copper and if the surface of the alloy has been treated. However, the detected reduction on oxidation stability could depend on other factors, and therefore it is recommended to conduct further experiments on test the aluminium alloys.

Abstract [sv]

Biodiesel är ett förnybart och biologiskt nedbrytbart bränsle som har möjligheten att ersätta konventionell diesel och minska föroreningen av miljön. Trots dess fördelar så har det visats att bränslet skadar motorerna i fordon, vilket beror på dess oxidativa egenskaper. Olika metaller, såsom koppar, zink och aluminium förekommer i fordons bränslesystem, och dessa har påvisats katalysera oxidationen av biodiesel. Flera studier har genomförts där interaktionen mellan de tidigare nämnda metallerna och biodiesel har undersökts. En del av dessa studier har fått motsägelsefulla resultat när det kommer till interaktionen mellan aluminium legeringar ochbiodiesel. Detta projekt har därför haft som syfte att ta fram en enkelt metod att jämföra metallers katalystiska effekt på biodieslets oxidations stabilitet, samt använda denna metod för att bedöma nedbrytningen av biodiesel i kontakt med aluminium legeringar. Olika uppvärmningsmetoder och täckningsmaterial undersöktes med hjälp av biodiesel gjord på rapsolja, RME, för att ta fram mätmetoden. När ett tillvägagångssätt hade fastlagts, så sänktes bitar av tre olika bränslefilterhus tillverkade av aluminium legeringar, och tre olika aluminium tackor med olika kopparhalter i RME och bränslets stabilitet mättes. Användning av ugn vid 80 °C för att testa biodieslets oxidations stabilitet gav de mest upprepbara resultaten, och sprejfärgen Auto K billack spray Universal var mest kompatibel att använda som täckningsmaterial. Den inre, obehandlade ytan av bränslefilterhusen visade sig inte påverka oxidations stabiliteten på biodieslet. Aluminijm legeringar med en högre koppar halt bröt ned RME lite mer än aluminium legeringar med lite/ingen koppas, men endast om ytan hade blivit mekaniskt behandlad. Detta ger slutsatsen att aluminium legeringar kan minska biodieslets stabilitet om det innehåller mycket koppar och om legeringens yta har blivit behandlad. Däremot så kan den reduktionen av oxidations stabiliteten bero på andra faktorer och det rekommenderas därför att genomföra fler experiment med aluminum legeringar och biodiesel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 49
Keywords [en]
Accelerated aging, aluminium, aluminium alloys, biodiesel, copper, oxidation stability, RME, test method
National Category
Bioenergy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-215060OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-215060DiVA, id: diva2:1154666
External cooperation
Scania CV AB
Educational program
Master of Science - Sustainable Energy Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-11-17 Created: 2017-11-03 Last updated: 2017-11-20Bibliographically approved

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