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Homework #1

Due Wednesday, September 4, 2002


1. For a generalized hydrocarbon with a molecular formula of CnHm, balance the combustion
equation:
Cn H m +O 2 CO 2 +H 2 O

2. For a generalized oxygenate with a molecular formula of CnHmOx, balance the combustion
equation:
Cn H m O x +O 2 CO 2 +H 2 O

3. Gasoline is potentially made up of hydrocarbon components that boil between n-butane and
400F. Using data in APIData.xls make a plot of the energy density (liquid fuels net heating
value in Btu per 60F gal) of each gasoline-like hydrocarbon component vs. the boiling point
of the component. (Only use the values for the paraffins, naphthenes, olefins, and
aromatics.) What is the range of values? Does the energy density tend to increase or
decrease with boiling point?
4. Alcohols (and ethanol in particular) are becoming the oxygenates of choice in gasoline
mixtures. Using data in APIData.xls, add the energy densities (liquid fuels net heating value
in Btu per 60F gal) of methanol to the pentanols to the plot in question 3. Are the energy
densities of these alcohols greater than, equal to, or less than that of the equivalent gasolinelike hydrocarbon components?
5. Make a plot of the mass CO2 generated from the alcohols and the gasoline-like components
(on a Btu basis) vs. boiling point. Are the alcohol values greater than, equal to, or less than
that of an equivalent gasoline-like hydrocarbon component? On this basis, does the CO2
generated tend to increase or decrease with the boiling point of the gasoline-like
hydrocarbons? Does the CO2 generated tend to increase or decrease with the boiling point of
the alcohols?

J.L. Jechura

-1-

September 3, 2002

Solution
1. For a generalized hydrocarbon the balanced combustion equation is:

m
m

Cn H m + n + O 2 nCO 2 + H 2 O
4
2

2. For a generalized oxygenate the balanced combustion equation is:


m x
m

Cn H m O x + n + O 2 nCO 2 + H 2O
4 2
2

3. The following figure shows the energy density of the gasoline-like hydrocarbon components
vs. the boiling point of the component. These values are calculated from:
Energy Density = ( Liquid Heating Value @ 77F ) ( Liquid Density @ 60F )

For example, for n-hexane this is:


BTU
lb
BTU

Energy Density = 19,232


= 106, 400
5.534
lb
gal
gal

180,000

Energy Density (Btu/gal)

160,000
140,000
120,000
100,000
80,000

Hydrocarbons

60,000
40,000
20,000
0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Boiling Point (F)

The range of values is 86,600 to 157,000 Btu/gal. The energy density tends to increase with
increasing boiling point.

J.L. Jechura

-2-

September 3, 2002

4. The following figure adds the energy density of the alcohols. The energy density is
calculated in the same way as for the hydrocarbons in Question #3.
180,000
160,000

Energy Density (Btu/gal)

140,000
120,000
100,000

Hydrocarbons
Alcohols

80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Boiling Point (F)

The range of values for the alcohols is 57,000 to 102,000 Btu/gal. The energy density tends
to increase with increasing boiling point.
5. Make a plot of the mass CO2 generated from ethanol and the gasoline-like components per
Btu lower heating value vs. boiling point. This is calculated knowing the number of carbons
per molecule, the molecular weights of CO2 and the feedstock, and the liquid heating value
of the feedstock:
Mass CO 2 Produced =

( Number C atoms )( CO 2 Mol Wt )


( Feedstock Mol Wt )( Liquid Heating Value @ 77F )

For example, for n-hexane this is:

( 6 ) 44.01

lb

lb CO 2
lb.mol

Mass CO 2 Produced =
= 0.000159
.
lb
BTU
BTU Feedstock

86.18
19,232

lb.mol
lb

J.L. Jechura

-3-

September 3, 2002

0.00025

CO2 Produced (lb CO2/Btu)

0.00020

0.00015
Hydrocarbons
Alcohols
0.00010

0.00005

0.00000
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Boiling Point (F)

The alcohol values are about the same as the equivalent gasoline-like hydrocarbon
components. The CO2 generated tends to be insensitive to the boiling point of the
components.

J.L. Jechura

-4-

September 3, 2002