A COMPARISON OF SPEED OF SOUND AND ACOUSTIC NONLINEARITY PARAMETERS AS BIOFUEL CHARACTERIZATION TECHNIQUES

Open Access
Author:
Boudreau, Kate Brown
Graduate Program:
Engineering Mechanics
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
April 07, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Bernhard R Tittmann, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • nonlinear parameter
  • nonlinear acoustics
  • speed of sound
  • biofuel
  • biodiesel
Abstract:
Quality is of paramount importance in the biofuel production community. The current method for identifying the nature of a biodisel involves the sometimes expensive and time consuming technique of gas chromatography. Two possible indicators of quality are the speed of sound and acoustic nonlinear parameters. This study presents the efforts in establishing an automated setup and procedure to measure the nonlinear B/A parameter and the speed of sound for a variety of materials. The nonlinear parameter measures the distortion of an acoustic wave as it travels through a medium.The setup utilizes through transmission and digital signal analysis while carefully compensating for the transducers' frequency response. Finally, results will be presented to examine the reliability of the acoustic nonlinear parameter and speed of sound measurements as possible biodiesel quality indicators.