Discovering renewable fuels and fuel additives is paramount in reducing carbon emissions from internal combustion engines. Terpenes, a group of compounds that can be synthesized from plant matter and microorganisms, have gained significant interest in recent years as promising candidates for fuels/additives. Terpenes are a diverse class of compounds that contain rings and methyl branches, resulting in high energy densities and optimal cold weather behavior. Their variation in bond order, carbon chains, and functional groups lead to varying degrees of soot formation and performance in existing engines. The present work leverages predictive models, namely artificial neural networks, to predict the cetane number (CN), sooting tendency (quantified with yield sooting index, YSI), and energy density (quantified with lower heating value, LHV) of terpenes and hydrogenated terpenes whose sooting propensities were previously determined through experimental means. Predicted sooting propensities of these terpenes are compared with experimental values, and predicted cetane numbers and energy densities are used to comment on the compounds’ ability to act as fuels/additives. Expected prediction errors for CN, YSI, and LHV, defined by blind test set median absolute error, are within 5.56 cetane units, 3.63 yield sooting index units, and 0.77 MJ/kg respectively. Additionally, the present work investigates a variety of correlation/dependence metrics for property-property relationships, furthering our understanding of how combustion-relevant properties are related.

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