Biofuels are an important component of a sustainable fuel future. The implementation of such fuels into existing and new engine designs requires an understanding of their interactions with the engine’s components at temperature. The formation of soot deposits on hot metal components, when in contact with fuels at elevated temperatures, can reduce engine performance. We have devised a test rig to measure soot formation from individual biofuel components. Fuel can be sprayed onto metal surfaces up to 750 °C under a controlled atmosphere. Using this rig, we have studied the formation of carbon deposits on steel, nickel, and aluminum metals using the pure small molecule biofuels and fuel mixture simulants. The amount and chemical identity of the deposits formed were studied using Raman spectroscopy. Using this new method for soot quantification, we can more rapidly screen for low soot forming biofuels as promising biofuel candidates grow.

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