Fuel adulteration affects a wide range of stakeholders ranging from consumers and fuel/energy companies to the state, the environment and public health. The "APOFASH" project combines the expertise of LPC S.A. (a member of the Motor Oil Group) in fuels and lubricants with the knowledge on lasers and spectroscopy of IESL-FORTH and optical instruments development experience of the Technical University of Crete in order to develop an innovative mobile optical spectroscopy system able to detect fuel adulteration at any point of interest with high sensitivity and low cost. This new approach will use the spectral footprint of a fuel or an adulterant in order to identify it in a sample. The prototype instrument will be compact, portable and designed for use by non-experts.
The spectral mapping of fuels and adulterants (from samples provided by and certified by LPC) is already under way at IESL-FORTH's laboratories with excellent results. Initial measurements with different spectroscopic techniques (see image) show that different types of fuels and adulterants exhibit different spectral signatures. Measurements of additional fuel, adulterant and blend/mixture samples will follow, using additional spectroscopic techniques in order to select those with the most suitable characteristics for use in the prototype instrument already under design at the laboratories of the Technical University of Crete. When ready, the new instrument will be tested in the field, under real-life conditions.