A Batch Blending System for Continuous Production of Multi-Component Fuel Blends for Engine Laboratory Tests
The increased rates of research on complex fuel blends in engine applications poses a need for more efficient and accurate fuel blending processes in engine laboratories. Making the fuel blending process automatic, effective, accurate and flexible saves time, storage space and cost without compromising the tests of future fuel alternatives. To meet these requirements, an automatic fuel blending system, following a sequential batch process, was designed and tested for engine laboratory application.The fuel blending system was evaluated in terms of functionality, safety, accuracy and repeatability. The functionality and safety was evaluated through a risk analysis. Whereas, the accuracy and repeatability of the system was investigated through blend preparation tests. The results show that the minimum fuel mass limitation of the system is 0.5 kg. This allows for blends with fuel ratios as low as 7 vol-% to be prepared by the system. The mean relative errors for all tested fuels are below 5% by mass, enabling a wide range of fuels to be used in the system. The absolute error in fuel ratio is 0.5 vol-% or less. In addition, the relative error in fuel ratio of the prepared blends is below 4% for all but one of the tested blends. Moreover, the system can prepare all of the tested fuel blends in 5 minutes.