ULSD, biodiesel present winter challenges
Nov 16, 2006 1:39 PM
A combination of challenges with ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and some biodiesel fuel sampling results make conditions right for caution when blending biodiesel this winter, according to information from the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA).
A national fuel quality testing project, co-funded by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found that 50 percent of biodiesel samples pulled between November 2005 and July 2006 were out of spec on at least one parameter. One-third of all the samples were out of spec for total glycerin, the same property that caused issues in Minnesota last year. NBB views these results as unacceptable.
To address these issues, NBB has done the following:
•Stepped up a fuel quality outreach program to encourage federal and state agencies to adopt the standard for biodiesel, ASTM D-6751, and test biodiesel at the plant/terminal levels to enforce quality.
•Developed an online fuel quality enforcement guide that provides guidance on actions that can be taken by anyone who has concerns that a company might not be producing spec fuel.
•Issued recommendations to users that include buying fuel from BQ-9000 certified marketers and accredited producers. BQ-9000 is a voluntary fuel quality control program that can help protect consumers from off-spec fuel.
Biodiesel handlers are advised to take the following precautions:
•Buy fuel from BQ-9000 accredited producers or certified marketers. Become a certified marketer.
•Work with a reputable supplier who you have a good relationship with and who will stand behind the product.
•Require an actual certificate of analysis on every load. Draw bottom samples, and perform visual inspection before accepting each load. Retain bottom samples for 30-60 days.
•Know cold flow properties of both the ULSD and biodiesel before blending.
Observe all proper handling and storage procedures, and carefully review the materials. Those materials include:
•Fuel Quality and Performance Guide
•Biodiesel Handling and Use Guidelines
•Cold Weather Blending Report
•Fuel Handling Training Video
Additionally, some PMAA members have expressed concerns about the cold flow performance of ULSD when blended with cold flow additives. PMAA and NBB would like to hear from members who have concerns about ULSD and cold flow performance. Anyone with information should e-mail PMAA's Laura Stewart or e-mail NBB's Paul Nazzaro.
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