Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

An Octane Test That Saves A Bundle? Don't Knock It


Developments to Watch

AN OCTANE TEST THAT SAVES A BUNDLE? DON'T KNOCK IT

Getting the right octane level in gasoline--a key to engine performance--is costly for refiners because of the inaccuracy of current evaluation methods. To ensure compliance with federal regulations, refiners often add more octane than really needed. Now, Ashland Petroleum Co., of Ashland, Ky., has a process that adjusts octane during blending.

Currently, refiners measure octane levels in a finished fuel by determining how much a special test engine "knocks" during combustion. The new procedure--dubbed InfraTane--studies gasoline under near-infrared light. Different molecules absorb light at specific frequencies, so by measuring the amount of absorbed light refiners can evaluate octane levels and adjust them on-line to achieve the proper mix.

Ashland has installed this system in its St. Paul Park (Minn.) refinery and estimates InfraTane will save at least $1 million a year there by setting octane levels more accurately. And Ashland has licensed InfraTane to Fluid Data Inc. of Merrick, N.Y. Initial costs to other refiners are around $300,000.EDITED BY FLEUR TEMPLETON


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus