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Development of technology for water removal from liquid fuels using hydrogels

Grant number: 17/12120-1
Support type:Program for Research on Bioenergy (BIOEN) - Regular Program Grants
Duration: November 01, 2017 - October 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Leonardo Vasconcelos Fregolente
Grantee:Leonardo Vasconcelos Fregolente
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Química (FEQ). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Maria Regina Wolf Maciel ; Patricia Bogalhos Lucente Fregolente ; Rubens Maciel Filho


Liquid fuels such as Aviation Kerosene, Diesel and Biodiesel may incorporate water during their production, transportation or storage. In case of fossil fuels, a considerable part of the water content comes from fractions produced directly from distillation towers, where steam is added for product rectification. Considering biodiesel, as it is basically composed by methyl or ethyl esters of fatty acids, high relative air humidity is sufficient to significantly raise the water content during storage. Water content in liquid fuels leads to some consequences such as contamination by microbial growth, formation of sludge, elevation of fuel turbidity and corrosion of storage tanks and mechanical components of automotive engines. This applied research plan proposes the development of technology that uses polyacrylamide (PAAm) and polyacrylonitrile (PAN) hydrogels, with other polymers formed such as sodium acrylate, acrylic acid and lactic acid , to remove water from liquid fuels (Aviation Kerosene, Diesel and Biodiesel). In addition to the production of a highly adsorbent polymeric material, this research project aims to develop a laboratory-scale prototype of randomic hydrogel bed and high performance bed made of hydrogel-coated structured Packings produced by Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS). Based on experimental data obtained from this prototype, it will be possible to obtain design parameters for the application of synthesized hydrogels in small beds and on industrial scale. (AU)