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We report on an optical fiber probe, coupled to a 404-nm laser diode, as a fluorescence sensor for monitoring of commercial gasolines. The principle of operation of the sensor is based on quantifying the intensity of the Stokes-shifted fluorescence from some of the heavier polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons CxHy,(x,y) ≥ (14,10) present in gasolines as minor constituents. The normalized efficiency of the optical fiber probe, as a function of its geometry, is calculated in the cases of single-fiber and parallel dual-fiber designs. The spatial and temporal resolutions achievable by the sensor are discussed as a function of design parameters The performance of the sensor is investigated experimentally for commercial gasolines in the liquid and gas phase. The optimal excitation wavelength for such sensors is investigated in the range of 350-400 nm. The linear sensitivity to vapor concentrations of retail gasoline fuel is demonstrated in the range of 4%-125% of combustion stoichiometry at 10 bar and 180°C. Statistical processing of the data from the sensor allows distinction to be made between different forecourt gasoline suppliers, as well as fuel varieties (unleaded, low sulfur, etc.).
Date of Publication: Oct. 2004