Preprint / Version 1

Prediction of Research/Motor Octane Number and Octane Sensitivity Using Artificial Neural Networks


  • Travis J. Kessler University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Corey Hudson Sandia National Laboratory
  • Leanne Whitmore Sandia National Laboratory
  • John Hunter Mack University of Massachusetts Lowell



octane number, fuel, biofuel, biofuels, octane sensitivity, research octane number, motor octane number, artificial neural network


Octane sensitivity (OS), dfined as the research octane number (RON) minus the motor octane number (MON) of a given fuel, has gained interest among researchers due to its apparent ffect on knocking conditions in internal combustion engines. Compounds with a high OS enable higher efficiencies, especially with respect to advanced compression ignition engines. RON/MON must be experimentally tested to determine OS; however, the experimental methods utilized require a substantial amount of time, a significant monetary investment, and specialized equipment. To this end, predictive computational models trained with existing experimental data and molecular properties would allow for the preemptive screening of compounds prior to performing these experiments. The present work proposes two methods for predicting the OS of a given compound: using artficial neural networks (ANNs) trained with quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) descriptors to predict RON and MON individually to compute OS from RON/MON predictions (derived octane sensitivity, dOS), and using an ANN trained with QSPR descriptors to directly predict OS. ANNs trained to predict RON and MON achieved test set root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) of 10.499 and 7.551 respectively. dOS calculations were found to have a test set RMSE of 6.432 while predicting OS directly resulted in a test set RMSE of 7.019, showing it is more bene cial to obtain OS from RON/MON predictions than predicting it directly. Furthermore, relationships between individual QSPR descriptors and RON/MON/OS are discussed, highlighting correlations between specfic molecular features and these properties.


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