A Comparative Azeotropic Research on Combustion of Common Ternary Systems

Document Type : Original Article


1 Military Technical College, Kobry Elkobbah, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Science and Technology Center of Excellence (STCE), Ministry of Military Production, Cairo, Egypt.



Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) and Methanol are effective fuel oxygenate that boost octane number, improve fuel performance, combustion behavior and minimize environmental pollutant emissions. In the petroleum business, however, their high-water solubility restricts their use in terms of fuel homogeneity loss. This work presents a full investigation map for the status of the phase diagram for the tertiary system of MTBE-methanol-water at different temperatures; 0, 40, and 70oC, and different pressures; 1.0 and 3.0 atm, based on different compositions. Furthermore, the thermodynamic coefficient, UNIFAC-LL, was linked to the Aspen plus Version 9. After validation of the software by the real experimental data, the software was used to complete the full map at all missing conditions. Pressure does not influence the occurrence of phase transitions, but the temperature has a minor effect on the LLE. The methanol concentration at which phase separation occurred dropped from 43% to 31.2% when the temperature was lowered from 70 to 40°C. With the use of simulation, the compositions at which phase separation occurs were also discovered. Last but not least, it was observed that the thermodynamic model (UNIFAC-LL) properly predicted the behavior of the methanol-water–MTBE ternary system with less than 3% inaccuracy in the binodal curve points. Consequently, a validated phase diagram is developed to accurately predict the physical state of the MTBE-methanol-water system at ant temperature, pressure, and mole fraction of each component. Hence, it guarantees the feasibility of using this tertiary system, as an effective octane booster additive, under severe working conditions.


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