Investigation of Naphtha-Type Biofuel from a Novel Refinery Process

Tom Robeyn, Sebastian Verhelst, Immanuel Vinke, Hannes Latine, James W. G. Turner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


In order to reduce the carbon footprint of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), biofuels have been in use for a number of years. One of the problems with first-generation (1G) biofuels however is their competition with food production. In search of second-generation (2G) biofuels, that are not in competition with food agriculture, a novel biorefinery process has been developed to produce biofuel from woody biomass sources. This novel technique, part of the Belgian federal government funded Ad-Libio project, uses a catalytic process that operates at low temperature and is able to convert 2G feedstock into a stable light naphtha. The bulk of the yield consists out of hydrocarbons containing five to six carbon atoms, along with a fraction of oxygenates and aromatics. The oxygen content and the aromaticity of the hydrocarbons can be varied, both of which have a significant influence on the fuel's combustion and emission characteristics when used in Internal Combustion Engines. When used as a blend component, this novel 2G biofuel could help increase the sustainability of vehicle fuels. But, while exhaustive experimental and, although lesser in number, numerical investigations on combustion behavior have been performed for 1G biofuels, less information is available for 2G biofuels and especially this novel naphtha-like fuel. An extensive fuel compound property database and a fuel blend property calculator is readily available in literature, but their validity has not been tested for the novel 2G biofuel components. This article provides a first screening of the usability of these light naphtha components as blend components for gasoline and diesel drop-in fuels, by means of a freely available fuel component database and fuel blend calculator, concluding with an initial assessment of achievable blends and pointing out where further work is needed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSAE Technical Paper Series
PublisherSAE International
StatePublished - Mar 29 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledgements: This paper was made possible by the support of the Energy Transition Fund of the Belgian federal government, within the project “Ad-Libio”,

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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