Analysis of graphite oxide and graphene as enhancers for NATO F-76 diesel fuel
Carroll, Benjamin O.
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The aim of this thesis was to test the performance of graphite oxide (GO) and graphene (G) as fuel additives. Both compounds are variations of the honeycomb structure found in graphite but possess higher surface areas and different amounts of oxygen functional groups. The use of graphite oxide was considered due to its ability to release the oxygen species at moderate temperatures, while graphene could be readily dispersed and completely burned off during the combustion process. Graphite oxide was fabricated by chemical routes and graphene by thermal exfoliation. X-ray powder diffraction was used to characterize the crystal structure of the initial powders and the particulate sizes were studied by scanning electron microscopy. The additives were mixed with NATO F-76 diesel fuel in 0.1 to 3% weight ratios. The mixtures were then analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetry to determine heat flows and mass changes, respectively, as the samples were heated, then compared with bare F-76. The evolved gases from all the processes were identified by mass spectroscopy. The fuel-additive mixtures were tested in a diesel engine to determine ignition delays and the cetane numbers for each composition are reported.
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