Optimization of the octane response of gasoline/ethanol blends

Jihad Badra, Abdullah AlRamadan, Mani Sarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The octane responses of gasoline/ethanol mixtures are not well understood because of the unidentified intermolecular interactions in such blends. In general, when ethanol is blended with gasoline, the Research Octane Number (RON) and the Motor Octane Number (MON) non-linearly increase or decrease, and the non-linearity is determined by the composition of the base gasoline and the amount of added ethanol. The complexity of commercial gasolines, comprising of hundreds of different components, makes it challenging to understand ethanol-gasoline synergistic/antagonistic blending effects. Understanding ethanol blending effects with simpler gasoline surrogates is critical to acquire knowledge about ethanol blending with complex multi-component gasoline fuels. In this study, the octane numbers (ON) of ethanol blends with five relevant gasoline surrogate molecules were measured. The molecules investigated in this study include: n-pentane, iso-pentane, 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene, cyclopentane and 1-hexene. These new measurements along with the available data of n-heptane, iso-octane, toluene, various primary reference fuels (PRF) and toluene primary reference fuels (TPRF) with ethanol are used to develop a blending rule for the octane response (RON and MON) of multi-component blends with ethanol. In addition, new ON data are collected for six Fuels for Advanced Combustion Engine (FACE) with ethanol. The relatively simple volume based model successfully predicts the octane numbers (ON) of the various ethanol/PRF and ethanol/TPRF blends with the majority of predictions being within the ASTM D2699 (RON) and D2700 (MON) reproducibility limits. The model is also successfully validated against the ON of the FACE gasolines blended with ethanol with the majority of predictions being within the reproducibility limits. Finally, insights into the possible causes of the synergistic and antagonistic effects of different molecules with ethanol are provided.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-793
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - Jul 4 2017


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