ASTM B5 biodiesel passes UL test
Feb 3, 2009 4:20 PM
Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL) is announcing that products intended to use biodiesel blends up to B5 that are compliant with applicable ASTM International fuel standards will not require special investigation by UL.
This is consistent with ASTM standards for heating oil and diesel fuel, which were recently updated to indicate that B5 blends may be considered the same as the conventional petroleum fuels under their scope, according to the UL information posted online at ul.com.
In anticipation of the changes to the ASTM fuel standards, UL initiated a technical review of biodiesel fuel and technologies working closely with US Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Biodiesel Board. UL also conducted performance testing of heating equipment using B5. The findings indicated no adverse safety effects.
"This announcement is a milestone for an industry that hasnít had much advancement in the heating oil fuel supply for decades," Paul Nazarro of Advanced Fuel Solutions Inc, wrote in a report for the New England Fuel Institute. "Bioheat can begin now to make inroads into the heating oil supply and OEMís, fuel suppliers and homeowners can be comfortable that they are recipients of a high quality fuel."
However, UL noted in its posted information that it is acknowledged that introduction of biodiesel "may potentially affect fuel quality, mobilize contaminants in the fuel system, or increase the potential for microbial contamination. These performance issues are outside of the scope of UL standards and certification. Manufacturer instructions for use and maintenance of equipment should always be followed.
"Use of biodiesel at levels above five percent may have a significant effect on materials, performance, or combustion of some equipment. UL is in the process of finalizing product safety requirements for equipment specified for use with biodiesel (B100) and biodiesel blends up to B20."
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