Comparison of Raman and IR spectroscopy for quantitative analysis of gasoline/ethanol blends

Stella Corsetti, David McGloin, Johannes Kiefer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Ethanol is commonly admixed to petrochemical gasoline, and its amount in the fuel blend can influence the performance of an engine. The ethanol content in a commercial fuel can vary. To ensure reliable engine operation, control strategies based on a measurement of the composition need to be developed. Two possible methods to determine the ethanol content in ethanol/gasoline blends are Raman and IR spectroscopy. We compare both techniques for quantitative measurements in systematically varied blends of ethanol and a gasoline surrogate. For each method, two different approaches for data evaluation are tested and compared: Firstly, the calibration of the intensity ratio of characteristic peaks as function of composition; secondly, a principal component regression (PCR). Both methods are found to have comparable uncertainty. For the evaluation of the Raman spectra, the PCR method yielded better accuracy than the intensity ratio approach. In addition, a detailed investigation of the influence of noise in the signal is presented. When the full IR spectra were evaluated by PCR, even high noise levels did not reduce the measurement accuracy significantly. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-494
Number of pages7
Early online date11 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Northern Research Partnership (NRP) in Scotland. The authors thank Florian Zehentbauer for technical assistance during the Raman experiments.


  • Biofuel
  • Fossil fuel
  • Alcohol
  • Chemometrics
  • Analysis


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