What is it about?

We have developed a simple, fast, portable, inexpensive, and indirect method for the determination of waterin ethanol fuels. Our system uses a laboratory-made photometry device to monitor the formation of complexes between ethanol and cerium(IV). These reactions produce deep orange–red solutions. Limit of detection was estimated to be 0.22% v/v water in ethanol. The platform was satisfactorily robust with respect to the changes in temperature and stability of the reagents during storage.

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Why is it important?

In Brazil, hydrous ethanol has been used as a fuel since 1975. Hydrated ethyl alcohol fuel (HEAF) is currently the second most highly consumed fuel (by volume) for transportation as a result of the growing sales of flexible fuel vehicles. The most common adulteration is the addition of excess amounts of water to HEAFs because the mixtures obtained are colorless, cannot be detected visually, and do not have a distinctive smell. Such procedure adversely affect the performance of the vehicle.

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This page is a summary of: Portable platform for rapid and indirect photometric determination of water in ethanol fuel samples, Analytical Methods, January 2014, Royal Society of Chemistry,
DOI: 10.1039/c4ay02255f.
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