Easy-to-Use Spectrometer Provides On-Site Detection of Biodiesel in Diesel Fuel for Emergency Backup Generators


Source: Spectro Scientific

East Norwalk, CT, Dec. 16, 2011 -- Currently, ASTM Method D975 allows up to 5% biodiesel in diesel fuel without the requirement for biodiesel content labeling.  This presents a major problem for operators of Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG) – whether at nuclear power plants or other industrial facilities - as the presence of biodiesel in the fuel can shutdown the EDG.   The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer from Wilks provides a quick, on-site analysis method to determine the presence of biodiesel in diesel.

Diesel fuel can typically be stored for as long as 10 years to power emergency backup generators in the event of an electrical power outage. In a nuclear power plant, EDGs supply electrical power to safely shut down the reactor when there is a loss of normal off-site power.  They also supply power to critical items such as cooling pumps for decay heat removal. Since biodiesel is a natural food source for microbial growth, biocides are added which should prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold.  However, nuclear power plants and other facilities cannot risk microbial growth that could clog filters and shut down the EDG.  In cold weather areas, there is also concern that the cold-flow properties of biodiesel-blended fuel may cause it to gel in cold temperatures and again clog filters. Therefore, it has become important for many standby generator operators to determine whether their fuel delivery contains biodiesel.

The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer can detect biodiesel contamination as low as 100 ppm in less than 5 minutes by an operator with minimal training.  It is a mid-infrared analyzer that uses the wavelengths specified by both the ASTM D7371 and EN 14078 for measuring biodiesel in diesel fuel. Because it is compact and portable, the measurement can be done on-site when the fuel is delivered and eliminate the need to wait for measurement results from an off-site laboratory.

The InfraSpec Spectrometer incorporates a flow-through sample system and integrated syringe pump with automatic software controls for all pumping actions. The operation simply fills a syringe with diesel fuel and places the syringe onto the integrated syringe pump.  The “run” button is selected and in a few minutes the display reads the ppm level of biodiesel in the fuel sample.

As more biofuels products enter the supply chain, the chance for contamination in situations where it could have a negative impact will increase.  The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer can provide the quick analytical method for on-site biodiesel detection measurements at a price significantly less than other analytical instruments which will be a valuable asset for users where it is critical to their operation to ensure that there is no biodiesel present in their fuel.

For further information on the InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer for low-level biodiesel measurements, please contact:  Wilks Enterprise, Inc., 25 Van Zant Street, Ste. 8F, E. Norwalk, CT  06855 USA, TEL: 203-855-9136, FAX: 203-838-9868, Email: srintoul@wilksir.com, Web Site -- www.WilksIR.com, http://www.wilksir.com/biofuel-analyzers/infraspecbiodieseldetection.html


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