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Flow improvers for diesel fuels

The ILL can support industrial R&D in its quest for technological development.
We intervene in challenging problem-solving situations and exploratory projects.

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Environment & Energy

Unfreezable diesel fuels

Modern life depends on the possibility of transporting people and goods, even under tough climatic conditions. There is a well-known problem at low temperatures, the formation of wax crystals blocking diesel engine fuel filters and bringing the engine to a stop. Modern diesel fuels now contain block-copolymer additives (mid-distillate flow improvers) which significantly reduce crystal size and allow engines to operate at low temperatures. The results obtained with small-angle neutron scattering at ILL by one the leading petroleum industry team suggest that the supramolecular structure formed by self-assembly of the additives interacts with the alkanes to control crystallisation in diesel fuels.