Car Fuel Quality Monitoring
by RF Impedance Spectroscopy


Aim of the project

In the near future many car engines will run on mixtures of ethanol and gasoline (bio-fuel). Low-cost sensor systems will be needed to monitor the fuel quality (= amount of ethanol, water and gasoline) on-line, in the car, to control and prevent damage to the engine.


Project description

A feasability study has already shown that measurement of the dielectric constant of fuel in the microwave spectral range enables detection of water, gasoline and ethanol.
A team of 3 students, sponsored by the Ford-Poling (*) Fund, should  design and develop a low cost sensor- and electronic system that can determine the amount of ethanol, gasoline and water on-line in the fuel line or tank of a car.

Main challenges for this part of the project are:

  • Selecting a method for measuring liquid impedance in the GHz range, e.g. Time-Domain reflection methods, Transmission-lines, RF impedance bridges …
  • Implementing algorithms for determination of the dielectric constant from the measured data.
  • Working closely together with the other students for design and development the sensor and electronics and final testing of the complete system.

We offer a challenging project in close collaboration with  a company for an MSc student interested in RF measurement

(*) The Ford-Poling Competitive Edge Challenge is an initiative of Ford Motor Company that seeks to leverage Ford's network of key university partners to support corporate goals and objectives 



Ger de Graaf