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Compatibility of Fuel System Elastomers and Plastics with a Fast-Pyrolysis Oil (Bio-oil) at Room Temperature...

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Journal Name
Energy & Fuels
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Page Numbers
1 to 14

The compatibility of a fast-pyrolysis bio-oil with 17 elastomer and 21 plastic materials common to fuel storage, dispensing, and delivery systems was assessed by measuring volume and hardness. Diesel was used as the baseline for comparison. The elastomer and plastic specimens were exposed to the test fuels at 23 °C. The exposure times were 4 and 16 weeks for the elastomers and plastics, respectively. The elastomers (except for silicone and styrene butadiene) exhibited pronounced swelling in the bio-oil. This was especially true for the fluorocarbons and acrylonitrile rubbers. For the elastomers, a strong correlation between polarity and volume swell was observed. Compositional and structural analysis on one of the fluorocarbon materials showed that the bio-oil was less effective at extracting phthalate additives than the diesel. However, the crystallinity of a fluorocarbon was altered by the bio-oil. Unlike the elastomers, the plastic materials were less impacted by exposure to the bio-oil. This finding is attributed to their denser and more rigid molecular structures (compared to the elastomers). Notable swelling did occur in the nylons, but this swelling was attributed to water absorption rather than polarity. Comparison with previous studies showed that the observed swelling was lower for both the elastomers and the plastics. Solubility (and hence swell) increases with temperature, and because this study was conducted at 23 °C rather than 50 °C, the reduced temperature is responsible for the lower swell levels.