Compatibility Assessment of Fuel System Elastomers with Bio-oil and Diesel Fuel

Katherine Gaston, Michael Kass, Christopher Janke, Raynella Connatser, Samuel Lewis Sr., James Keiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus Citations


Bio-oil derived via fast pyrolysis is being developed as a renewable fuel option for petroleum distillates. The compatibility of neat bio-oil with six elastomer types was evaluated against the elastomer performance in neat diesel fuel, which served as the baseline. The elastomers included two fluorocarbons, six acrylonitrile butadiene rubbers (NBRs), and one type each of fluorosilicone, silicone, styrene butadiene rubber (SBR), polyurethane, and neoprene. Specimens of each material were exposed to the liquid and gaseous phases of the test fuels for 4 weeks at 60 °C, and properties in the wetted and dried states were measured. Exposure to bio-oil produced significant volume expansion in the fluorocarbons, NBRs, and fluorosilicone; however, excessive swelling (over 80%) was only observed for the two fluorocarbons and two NBR grades. The polyurethane specimens were completely degraded by the bio-oil. In contrast, both silicone and SBR exhibited lower swelling levels in bio-oil compared to neat diesel fuel. The implication is that, while polyurethane and fluorocarbon may not be acceptable seal materials for bio-oils, silicone may offer a lower cost alternative.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6486-6494
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy and Fuels
Issue number8
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-67094


  • bio-oils
  • elastomers
  • fast pyrolysis


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