Selection Criteria and Screening of Potential Biomass-Derived Streams as Fuel Blendstocks for Advanced Spark-Ignition Engines

Robert McCormick, Earl Christensen, Janet Yanowitz, Evgueni Polikarpov, Karl Albrecht, Daniel Gaspar, John Gladden, Anthe George, Lisa Fouts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus Citations


We describe a study to identify potential biofuels that enable advanced spark ignition (SI) engine efficiency strategies to be pursued more aggressively. A list of potential biomass-derived blendstocks was developed. An online database of properties and characteristics of these bioblendstocks was created and populated. Fuel properties were determined by measurement, model prediction, or literature review. Screening criteria were developed to determine if a bioblendstock met the requirements for advanced SI engines. Criteria included melting point (or cloud point) < -10°C and boiling point (or T90) <165°C. Compounds insoluble or poorly soluble in hydrocarbon were eliminated from consideration, as were those known to cause corrosion (carboxylic acids or high acid number mixtures) and those with hazard classification as known or suspected carcinogens or reproductive toxins. Compounds predicted to be less anaerobically biodegradable than methyl-tert-butyl ether with water solubility greater than 10,000 mg/L were also eliminated. A minimum Research octane number (RON) of 98 was applied. These criteria produced a list of 40 bioblendstocks with promising properties. Additional property data, including Motor octane number (MON), heat of vaporization, and lower heating value, were acquired for these bioblendstocks. A subset of the bioblendstocks representing all functional groups were blended into gasoline or a gasoline surrogate to measure their effect on vapor pressure, distillation curve, oxidation stability, RON, and MON. For blending into a conventional or reformulated blendstock for E10 blending, ethanol, 2-butanol, isobutanol, and diisobutylene have the most desirable properties for blending of a high-octane advanced SI engine fuel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)442-460
Number of pages19
JournalSAE International Journal of Fuels and Lubricants
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, SAE International. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-67366


  • biofuel
  • fuel properties
  • gasoline
  • spark-ignition


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