Dielectric Properties of Ethanol and Gasoline Mixtures by Terahertz Spectroscopy and an Effective Method for Determination of Ethanol Content of Gasoline


JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, vol.118, no.17, pp.3081-3089, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 118 Issue: 17
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/jp500760t
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3081-3089
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Investigation of frequency dependent permittivity of mixture solutions provides information on the role of intermolecular interactions on relaxation processes of solvent and solute molecules. In this study the dielectric properties of ethanol/gasoline mixtures in the terahertz spectral region are investigated. Frequency dependent absorption coefficients, refractive indices, and complex permittivities of pure ethanol and gasoline, and their mixtures at varying ethanol volume percentages (v/v %) are reported. As the mixing ratio changes, meaningful shifts are observed in the frequency dependent refractive index and absorption coefficients associated with the dominant component, ethanol. The relaxation dynamics of the pure gasoline and ethanol are successfully modeled with the Debye model using the ultrafast nature of the terahertz transients, and those of mixture solutions are investigated by an additive model with an assumption of minimum interaction due to the significant differences in their molecular natures; polar and nonpolar. Successful modeling of the mixtures confirms the weak interaction assumption and enables us to accurately determine the ethanol content. Among five ethanol/gasoline blends, except for one mixture, the estimated percent ethanol in gasoline is predicted with an accuracy of ca. 1% with respect to the actual ethanol percentage. In addition, the results show that free OH contribution to the macroscopic polarization is significantly higher at low concentrations (5-20%) and lower at 50% compared to the case of pure ethanol. The measurements and analysis presented here show that time domain terahertz studies can offer invaluable insight into development of new models for polar/nonpolar complex mixture solutions.