|The goal: a cleaner engine|
The first independent engine test facility of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) has begun operations in Beijing. The facility, established with financial and technical support from BASF, will monitor fuel qualities in China.
The facility will also do research for developing future fuels for the Chinese market and customized additives to improve fuel quality and significantly prolong engine life. In addition, the use of the additives reduces CO2 and NOx emissions and cuts fuel consumption by up to 2%, according to partner BASF.
To choose good gasoline and additives is very important for environmental protection. This is also an important motive for us to promote technical advancement in this area and to cooperate with BASF—Professor Meng Wei, head of the CRAES
BASF already markets its Keropur gasoline additives in China. Keropur encompasses a range of additive packages, the main active component of which is polyisobuteneamine (PIBA), a detergent serving as a surface active substance which is both more effective and more eco-friendly than other products.
Gasoline additives need to be able to burn without forming their own residues. Besides small amounts of nitrogen, the detergent (like gasoline itself), therefore, should consist exclusively of the chemical elements carbon, hydrogen and possibly oxygen, according to BASF. Other elements, such as halogen, should not be present to prevent the formation of by-products and pollutants (e.g. dioxin formation). PIB amines are the most extensively marketed detergent additive.
By means of hydroformylation followed by reductive amination, BASF chemists produced polyisobuteneamine (PIBA) using a chlorine-free process. In combination with carrier oils, such as alkylene oxides, PIBA “washes down” organic residues from the surfaces of the engine intake system or forms a protective film preventing such deposits.
The required amount of gasoline additive has to be tailored to the respective fuel—part of the efforts represented by the new fuels research. The usual dosages in Europe are 0.3 - 0.5 g pure Keropur (additive system) per liter of gasoline. This reduces fuel consumption by up to four per cent and even more the output of pollutants.
Currently, Chinese drivers must add Keropur to their tanks themselves. China plans to develop additives that are added to fuel in standardized amounts at the refinery, as is the norm in western industrialized countries.
BASF also offers a Keropur line for diesel engines.
BASF piloted the test facility in Germany and trained CRAES staff in the use of BASF technology, then broke down the facility, shipped it to Beijing and rebuilt it.
The joint development of the engine test facility in Beijing is based on an agreement between the CRAES and BASF that was signed in July 2004. The goal of this cooperation is to improve the quality of Chinese gasoline significantly and to adapt it to the requirements of the latest engine technology. Both partners plan to extend the cooperation in the form of further joint projects.
BASF is now one of the China’ largest foreign investors and has more than 4,000 employees in the country. A new Verbund site in Nanjing was officially inaugurated at the end of September 2005. The new site, which BASF operates together with its partner Sinopec, represents a joint investment of $2.9 billion. By 2010, BASF aims to generate 10% of its global sales and earnings in its chemical businesses in China.