Date of Award

Fall 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

John B. Cooper

Committee Member

Kenneth G. Brown

Committee Member

Richard V. Gregory

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45 L37 2009


Fuel quality assurance and analysis, as it pertains to the United States armed forces, is crucial for maintaining operability and upholding safety regulations with respect to fuel class. Currently a great amount of effort, money and manpower are dedicated to this task as fuel analysis takes place in off-site laboratories where quality assessment and property determination is performed manually by highly qualified lab technicians. This presents the military with a logistics problem with respect to refueling, transport, and fuel storage as the typical tum-around time is 1-2 weeks. In this thesis it has been demonstrated that near-infrared spectroscopy, in conjunction with partial least squares (PLS) analysis, can be used to make rapid and accurate predictions of a wide range of fuel properties (API gravity, aromatics content, cetane index, cloud point, density, distillation% recovered (10, 20, 50 and 90%), flash point, freeze point, hydrogen content, pour point, saturates, and viscosity) for diesel, jet and unknown fuel classes ( either jet or diesel). It has also been shown that calibration models built using a master instrument can be transferred to slave instruments with a novel calibration transfer method using fuel spectra which are digitally synthesized from the spectra of a series of seven neat standards.


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