Researchers investigate improved fuel sensors

University of Illinois researchers are exploring the use of electrochemical sensors on diesel vehicles to detect specific contaminants in the fuel, such as sulfur or sulfur-based compounds, contaminants that existing sensors may not detect.

The research team is contributing to the development of a sensor that, when placed in the fuel line prior to where the fuel enters the engine, the electrochemical sensor can detect any contaminants in, or other problems with, the fuel, according to Alan Hansen, professor of agricultural and biological engineering at UI and lead researcher on the project.

"If one adds biodiesel as a blended fuel to the diesel, we're trying to make it determine the quality and quantity of biodiesel entering the engine," he said. "Other contaminants in the biodiesel are of interest to us such as methanol, glycerol and so forth."
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