skip to main content


Title: Anti-knock quality of sugar derived levulinic esters and cyclic ethers

Here, the objective of this paper is to investigate the anti-knock quality of sugar-derived levulinic esters (methyl levulinate (ML) and ethyl levulinate (EL)) and cyclic ethers (furfuryl ethyl ether (FEE) and ethyl tetrahydrofurfuryl ether (ETE)). To this end, combustion experiments were carried out in both an engine and a constant volume autoignition device. The results from both apparati demonstrate that ML, EL and FEE have superior anti-knock quality than the reference Euro95 gasoline. ETE, conversely, performed markedly worse than the reference fuel on both setups and might therefore be a more appropriate fuel for compression ignition engines. The main reason of the distinctions in anti-knock quality can be found in the molecular structure of the neat biofuels. ML and EL are levulinic esters, with a ketone (C=O) functionality and an ester (C(=O)-O) group on the carbon chain. They can readily produce stable intermediates during the auto-ignition process, thereby slowing down the overall reaction rate. The unsaturated cyclic ether (FEE) has very strong ring C-H bonds. However, the saturated cyclic ether (ETE) has weak ring C-H bonds, which facilitate more readily ring opening reactions. Long side chains on the cyclic ethers further accelerate the reaction rate. Importantly for future research, ourmore » results suggest that IQT and engine experiments are interchangeable setups with respect to qualitative anti-knock quality evaluation of novel compounds.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Eindhoven Univ. of Technology, Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
  2. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. Avantium, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  4. Eindhoven Univ. of Technology, Eindhoven (The Netherlands); Progression Industry BV, Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-2361
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 202; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0016-2361
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Vehicle Technologies Office (EE-3V)
Country of Publication:
United States
33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; sugar; engine knock; octane booster; levulinate; furan
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1357741