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First, define the "quality", you need a specification for the fuel.
Second, define which of the parameters of the fuel specification you need to measure.
Third, find means of measuring those parameters.
If your going for the actual usefully energy to find out which supplier is giving low grade fuel the best tried and proven method is with a bomb calorimeter.
Its a small but very heavy and high strength stainless steel cylinder that a small but accurately measured amount of fuel is placed in and then sealed. Next high pressure oxygen is then added (300 - 500 psi) to oxidize the fuel when it gets ignited.
The amount of heat required is known for a specific temperature change of the bomb calorimeter. When the fuel is ignited and fully burned the bomb calorimeter temperature will go up and the difference is then observed.
That then tells you exactly how much heat energy is given off by either a volume or mass reference to that type of fuel.
With the right setup and tempurature measuring system it is very accurate.
thank for your reply...i want to design a module which can be placed in the vhicle..also it should provide us the quality of the fuel used...i dont know which characteristics of the fuel is to be measured....can u help me on that....
As most people would think I would say the energy per unit of volume is the best reference to use.
If I could know what fuel would give me the best total mileage per gallon or what ever your method of measurement is that would be best.
But chemically I dont think its possible. There are to many variables based on the engine design that can not be accurately accounted for.
I run propane on my pickup. in an unmodified gasoline engine it gives poor power and bad fuel mileage. SO it would appear to be a poor choice of fuel. But with the right engine it provides great power and mileage but then gasoline does not run will in that type of engine so then it looks like a bad fuel.
So there is two fuels in two real life situations were each likes good and bad based on the engine it is used in.
The bomb calorimeter is the most accurate testing method I know of for measuring a fuels energy potency.
Its a scientific lab device. But then again I dont want bad fuel in my tank either!
I have been thinking about making one just for doing fuel testing myself.
We have some of the most expensive fuel in the country and also we are well known for having the worst fuel economy to boot!
They used to say it was due to the shipping costs related to trucking the fuel from the refineries located out of state.
That lie was put down a few years ago when the local public became aware that the refineries are in fact in state and our fuel comes from pipelines right on the edge of town! Trucking a mile or two does not cost much. Having your local fuel supply companies all buddies does!