Recent advances in the characterization of gaseous and liquid fuels by vibrational spectroscopy

Johannes Kiefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Most commercial gaseous and liquid fuels are mixtures of multiple chemical compounds. In recent years, these mixtures became even more complicated when the suppliers started to admix biofuels into the petrochemical basic fuels. As the properties of such mixtures can vary with composition, there is a need for reliable analytical technologies in order to ensure stable operation of devices such as internal combustion engines and gas turbines. Vibrational spectroscopic methods have proved their suitability for fuel characterization. Moreover, they have the potential to overcome existing limitations of established technologies, because they are fast and accurate, and they do not require sampling; hence they can be deployed as inline sensors. This article reviews the recent advances of vibrational spectroscopy in terms of infrared absorption (IR) and Raman spectroscopy in the context of fuel characterization. The focus of the paper lies on gaseous and liquid fuels, which are dominant in the transportation sector and in the distributed generation of power. On top of an introduction to the physical principles and review of the literature, the techniques are critically discussed and compared with each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3165-3197
Number of pages33
Issue number4
Early online date20 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Date of Acceptance: 20/04/2015
The author would like to thank Thomas Seeger, Alfred Leipertz, Florian Zehentbauer, Stella Corsetti, David McGloin, and Kristina Noack for fruitful discussions over the past decade. Special
thanks to Lynda Cromwell and Andrew Williamson for proofreading the manuscript


  • natural gas
  • biofuel
  • gasoline
  • diesel
  • blend
  • Raman
  • Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
  • composition


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