Guide to Measuring Biofuel Blending


Courtesy of Spectro Scientific

As the global commitment to renewable energy sources grows, the importance of using biodiesel as a blending component with diesel fuel has increased. Biodiesel consists of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) which are produced by the transesterification of certain feedstock oils, such as soy, rapeseed, canola, and others. The biodiesel is then blended with diesel fuel at amounts required by the regulatory agencies of different countries. It is important for fuel terminals and distributors, as well as regulatory agencies, to check the concentration of biodiesel in the diesel fuel in order to make sure it is within these allowable limits. Diesel fuel with too little biodiesel will not meet renewable fuel standards and fuel with too much biodiesel may cause engine failures.

There are several methods available for both laboratory and field analysis of biodiesel in diesel fuel. The choice of method depends on budget, location of testing, time, and other factors. The most important thing is to consistently test the blend level of diesel fuels mixed with biodiesel in order to avoid any regulatory fines and prevent potential damage to the diesel engines that can be caused by too much biodiesel.

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