Bioethanol Quality Control

The Column

The Column, The Column-06-21-2010, Volume 6, Issue 11

This quality control of bioethanol verifies maximum concentrations of methanol, higher alcohols and other impurities in bioethanol.

When observing the growing oil prices it is obvious that biofuels will play an important role in keeping transportation costs at an affordable level. In the European Union member states, estimated production of biodiesel was almost 8 million metric tons in 2008. In comparison, the production of bioethanol with almost 2.3 million metric tons, was much lower, particularly when compared with the world’s main bioethanol producers — Brazil and the US. According to the European Commission, the addition of biofuels to mineral fuels will increase continuously during the next few decades. Revised in 2009, the EN 15376 Standard may become the base rule for bioethanol quality just as EN 14214 defines biodiesel. Within the bioethanol quality control, EN 15721 is applied as a test method for higher alcohols, methanol and volatile impurities in bioethanol when used as a blending component in petrol. The three parameters are determined using gas chromatography. In terms of performance of analytical equipment, the standard defines minimum requirements for chromatographic resolution, quantification limits and repeatability of results.

This quality control of bioethanol verifies maximum concentrations of methanol, higher alcohols and other impurities in bioethanol. Additionally, a lower limit of the concentration of ethanol plus higher alcohols is given. Definitions of the different groups and limits are shown.

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