The authors of the study believe that the new fuel recipes will be of great practical importance for countries developing the Arctic.
The results of the study were published in the bi-monthly journal Oil & Gas Science and Technology – Revue d'IFP Energies Nouvelles.
Operation of machines in winter and arctic environment requires the use of diesel fuel grades that do not freeze at low temperatures. Their production is becoming more challenging every year due to the depletion of light oil reserves and the involvement in the processing of increasingly heavy raw materials and fractions obtained at oil recycling facilities.
According to TPU specialists, today additives or improvers are mainly used to produce various grades of diesel fuel suitable for use in winter and the Arctic territories. Most research papers in this field are devoted to the synthesis of new, more effective additives.
However, there are known cases when additives proven to be effective in laboratory studies have no practical effect on fuel. This can lead to extremely negative consequences: the inability to use vehicles, the shutdown of diesel-powered generators.
TPU scientists have conducted a study and showed the feasibility of expanding the raw material base of diesel fuel production by involving heavy diesel fractions and using cold flow improvers. As a result, they introduced new techniques for the production of diesel fuel for use in winter and Arctic conditions.
"We have discovered that involving a small amount of heavy diesel fraction increases the efficiency of the cold flow improver by 10°C in terms of the filterability limit temperature. By involving an undesirable in the usual sense heavy diesel fraction along with the additive, we can produce winter-grade fuel from inter-season one, and from winter fuel – the Arctic fuel", Associate Professor of TPU Chemical Engineering Department Maria Kirgina said.
The scientists plan to analyse further the quantitative correlation of the composition of different types of diesel fuel (fractional, group fuel, containing individual hydrocarbons and heteroatomic compounds) on the effectiveness of cold flow improvers. This would help to optimise the use of additive potential on fuels of any composition.
The study was conducted by the Tomsk Polytechnic University with financial support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) and the Tomsk Oblast.