Additives for diesel fuels

2-ethylhexylnitrate (2-EHN)

2-ethylhexylnitrate is an additive for diesel fuels, which increases the cetane number. The dosage of the additives depends on the fractional composition and the properties of the fuel that have to be achieved. The presence of 2-EHN in fuel, in addition to improving the combustibility, reduces the hardness of the diesel, makes it easier to ignite, reduces fuel consumption and improves the environmental performance: it reduces the smokiness of exhaust gases and the content of toxic components.

A common industrial technology for the production of 2-EHN is nitration of 2-ethylhexanol with a mixture of sulphuric and nitric acids, with the target product first being washed with water and then with an alkali solution.

Some important shortcomings of this technology are the presence of a large amount of effluent that has to be reclaimed, and also the presence of sulphuric acid, which has to be regenerated.

The technology, developed by ZAVKOM applies an adiabatic continuous process of nitration, during the course of which nitric acid is used with a concentration of about 60%. At the same time, the process is carried out not in tank reactors, where the reaction is hard to manage, but in dynamic equipment, which ensures the requisite level of manageability and safety.

When using this technology, the process of synthesis may be stopped and then restarted at any moment. ZAVKOM technology enables a 95% drop in the volume of runoff water and avoids the need for treatment facilities for spent acids that have to be regenerated and concentrated.

Qualitative indicators of the 2-EHN obtained




Colourless or transparent yellow liquid


At least 98%

Density (20оС), g/cm3

960 −  970

Viscosity (100оС) mm2/s

1.70 - 1.80

Flash point

At least 76

Colority, number

Not more than 1.5


Not more than 0.05%

Acidity, mg KOH/100 mL

Not more than 6

Solubility in water at 20оС

12.6 mg/L




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