The Open Fuels & Energy Science Journal


ISSN: 1876-973X ― Volume 11, 2018

High Octane Gasoline Using Renewable Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Wayne Seames1, *, Malhar Khambete1, Nahid Khatibi1, Shelby Amsley-Benzie1, Evguenii Kozliak2, Darrin Muggli3, Brian Tande1
1 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 241 Centennial Dr., Stop 7101, Grand Forks, ND58202-7101, USA
2 Department of Chemistry, University of North Dakota, 151 Cornell Street, Stop 9024, Grand Forks, ND58202-9024, USA
3 Department of Engineering, Benedictine College, 1020 North 2nd St., Atchison, KS 66002, USA



The replacement of leaded high octane aviation gasoline with an unleaded renewable alternative would decrease the emissions of lead and fossil-derived carbon into the atmosphere. Replacement has been limited by the requirement of a very high octane number in many existing general aviation aircraft engines.


Two separate process pathways were developed that generate an unleaded octane fuel with a motor octane number >96 from triglyceride oils (TGs), such as crop oils and algae oil. A series of experiments coupled with process simulations was used to verify the feasibility of both pathways and to provide preliminary laboratory scale data that could form the basis for further development towards a commercial technology. In the first pathway, TG oil is catalytically cracked to produce a high concentration of simple aromatic hydrocarbons. These aromatic hydrocarbons are then alkylated using propylene to form a mixture, which after purification acquires fuel properties compliant with those in the ASTM specification for 100 octane low lead aviation gasoline (100LL AvGas). In the second process pathway, the aromatic hydrocarbons are isolated after cracking using a sulfolane solvent extraction process to increase alkylation efficiency and fuel quality.


The results demonstrate that it is technically feasible to produce a replacement for 100LL AvGas using either pathway, and thus these strategies may be attractive candidates for commercialization.

Keywords: Catalytic cracking, Triglyceride oil, Renewable fuel, Aviation gasoline, Transportation fuel, Simulation modeling, Advanced biofuel.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2017
Volume: 10
First Page: 79
Last Page: 94
Publisher Id: TOEFJ-10-79
DOI: 10.2174/1876973X01710010079

Article History:

Received Date: 11/7/2017
Revision Received Date: 07/9/2017
Acceptance Date: 21/9/2017
Electronic publication date: 16/10/2017
Collection year: 2017

© 2017 Seames et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of North Dakota, 241 Centennial Dr., Stop 7101, Grand Forks, ND 58202-7101, USA, Tel: +1-701-777-2958; Fax: +1-701-777-3773; E-Mail:

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