Utilization of Renewable Oxygenates as Gasoline Blending Components

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report reviews the use of higher alcohols and several cellulose-derived oxygenates as blend components in gasoline. Material compatibility issues are expected to be less severe for neat higher alcohols than for fuel-grade ethanol. Very little data exist on how blending higher alcohols or other oxygenates with gasoline affects ASTM Standard D4814 properties. Under the Clean Air Act, fuelsused in the United States must be 'substantially similar' to fuels used in certification of cars for emission compliance. Waivers for the addition of higher alcohols at concentrations up to 3.7 wt% oxygen have been granted. Limited emission testing on pre-Tier 1 vehicles and research engines suggests that higher alcohols will reduce emissions of CO and organics, while NOx emissions will stay thesame or increase. Most oxygenates can be used as octane improvers for standard gasoline stocks. The properties of 2-methyltetrahydrofuran, dimethylfuran, 2-methylfuran, methyl pentanoate and ethyl pentanoate suggest that they may function well as low-concentration blends with gasoline in standard vehicles and in higher concentrations in flex fuel vehicles.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages58
StatePublished - 2011

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-50791


  • additives
  • gasoline blends
  • oxygenates
  • renewables


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