ABSTRACT

Biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel (FAME) represent a renewable fuel alternative to petroleum-derived transport fuels. The aim of this work was to study the interaction between high density polyethylene (HDPE) with permeation barriers in form of polyamide (PA) and fluorination, and biofuels such as E85 (fuel with 85 % ethanol), biodiesel and B10 (heating oil with 10 % biodiesel). 10 I jerrycans made of polyethylene with permeation barrier of PA were filled with E85 and biodiesel and exposed to temperatures of 20 °C and 40 °C for 5 years. Half of the 20 l jerrycans of HDPE for filling with B10 were fluorinated at the inner layer to prevent permeation before the exposure. Tensile properties were determined once a year, and FTIR-spectroscopy was used to evaluate possible changes.

The tensile properties tensile strength and breaking elongation of HDPE jerrycan cuttings with permeation barrier decreased, but not significantly, after immersion in E85, biodiesel and B10. The elasticity modulus of the polyethylene grades was especially reduced during exposure to E85.

The FTIR spectra of HDPE jerrycan cuttings with permeation barrier showed that immersion tests for five years with the test fuels at 20 °C and 40 °C did not lead to a decomposition of the permeation barriers.

INTRODUCTION

Biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel, FAME (fatty acid methyl ester), represent a renewable fuel alternative to petroleum-derived transport fuels. Increasing biofuel use would bring some benefits, such as a reduction in oil demand and greenhouse gas emissions, and an improvement in air quality. The relevance of biofuel production strongly depends on the respective potential in different countries, i.e. the availability of land or the usability of residues and by-products of important agricultural products. Furthermore, there is a significant technical potential for further development of biofuels as a renewable energy source. 1

Ethanol has become one of the main fuel components as it complies with environmental regulations. Ethanol-gasoline mixtures are commonly used in vehicles designed to run on gasoline thus the modification of some vehicle components is required as properties of the mixture are different from those of gasoline. 2

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