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Doing biodiesel storage? You need to know this

Posted by: Erik Bjornstad

A significant portion of diesel fuel out there already containing up to 5% biodiesel, Does it change diesel storage properties to any great degree?

biodiesel-tax-creditWhen biodiesel was flooding into the market around 2007 (due to the federal tax credits), the industry concerns were trumpeted – lower mileage because of less energy, stability and cold flow problems, concerns about the potential for biodiesel quality issues.  The quality issues have gotten a lot better simply from producers getting better at making it on a large scale. And mileage concerns are mitigated by the fact that 2 percent or 4 percent biodiesel in a diesel blend isn’t going to be enough to make a difference.

The thing that should concern people most about even low percentages of bio in their fuel is its affinity for water.  Usually when we talk about water attraction in a biofuel, it’s in respect to ethanol. But, like ethanol, biodiesel is also hygroscopic, and can absorb and hold even small amounts of water. Without going into too much detail, this can lead to

  • Decreasing the heat of combustion of the fuel, leading to more smoke/DPF particulate, harder starting and less power
  • Corrosion of essential fuel system parts
  • Freezing in the fuel, which offers “nucleation” sites for crystals to form that speed up fuel gelling in the winter

All this isn’t even counting water’s role in making it easier for microbes to grow in the fuel

Learn More About Storing Biodiesel

We put together a video covering biodiesel storage issues. To learn more, just go to:

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This post was published on July 2, 2015 and was updated on July 2, 2015.

Topics: Biodiesel, Fuel Storage