Most commercial gaseous and liquid fuels are mixtures of multiple chemical compounds. In recent years, these mixtures became even more complicated when the suppliers started to admix biofuels into the petrochemical basic fuels. As the properties of such mixtures can vary with composition, there is a need for reliable analytical technologies in order to ensure stable operation of devices such as internal combustion engines and gas turbines. Vibrational spectroscopic methods have proved their suitability for fuel characterization. Moreover, they have the potential to overcome existing limitations of established technologies, because they are fast and accurate, and they do not require sampling; hence they can be deployed as inline sensors. This article reviews the recent advances of vibrational spectroscopy in terms of infrared absorption (IR) and Raman spectroscopy in the context of fuel characterization. The focus of the paper lies on gaseous and liquid fuels, which are dominant in the transportation sector and in the distributed generation of power. On top of an introduction to the physical principles and review of the literature, the techniques are critically discussed and compared with each other.
- natural gas
- Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy