Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Engineering Science

Program

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Supervisor

Anand Prakash

Abstract

To evaluate the suitability of ultrasonic techniques for on-line process monitoring applications, an ultrasonic probe was used to measure acoustic velocity, acoustic impedance, and isentropic compressibility of hydrocarbons (including n-, iso-, and cycloalkanes, toluene, mineral oil, and crude oil) and polar liquids (alcohols, water, salt water) over a temperature range of 25-60°C. Temperature, carbon chain length, molecular shape, and intermolecular forces had significant effects on ultrasonic parameters. Relationships between media characteristics and observed ultrasonic parameters were modeled using empirical-least squares equations. The same parameters were measured in binary mixtures of hydrocarbons in heptane, as well as polar liquids in ethanol. Experimental values were presented as a function of volume fraction and compared to ideal mixing conditions. Excess quantities were computed and shown in a similar manner. Ultrasonic techniques were demonstrated to be effective in estimating ethanol content in n-heptane (representing gasoline) and for detecting volatile losses for stored crude oil.