Increased FAME Content in Fuel Causing Nationwide Concern
Changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) set out challenging new biofuel targets starting in early 2018. The target was increased to 8.5% in January 2019, with incremental increases to 12.4% in 2032. The new targets have forced suppliers to ensure that all diesel meets the latest biofuel requirements.
What is Biofuel?
This bio element is called FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) which is largely produced from recycled cooking oils and renewable oil sources. This increase in the bio content of Gas Oil is being reflected negatively nationally, with reports of clogged filters and low fuel pressure resulting in vehicle downtime.
Effects of FAME content in Diesel?
The main complications of FAME, or biodiesel, are caused by its solvent type properties along with hygroscopic or water attracting characteristics. These effects include:
- Material incompatibility, which can cause the degradation of rubbers, plastics, and surface coatings.
- Clogged filters due to residual deposits.
- Water contamination, which can lead to the growth of microbes – bugs in the fuel.
- Gradual degradation of fuel due to oxidation and hydrolysis, which can damage machinery.
- Cold flow premature waxing and precipitation issues.
How can I prevent the effects of Biofuel?
Here are some preventative measures you can take to tackle potential issues resulting from these new regulations:
Professional Tank Maintenance & Housekeeping
By looking after your tank and fuel, you can slow or prevent the negative effects of FAME content.
- Check tank cleanliness before each delivery.
- Keep the fuel clean by using combination particle and water filters down to 10 and ideally 2-micron size.
- Identify water using a special paste and remove any at the bottom of the tank in accordance with regulations.
Specialist Fuel Additives
We can offer specific additives to your fuel that will counter the effects of the increased bio element and prevent costly downtime for plant and machinery.
- Gas Oil Supreme – This product can be used to negate the effects of biofuel and should be used on fuel stored for less than 12 weeks
- Gas Oil Conditioner – To protect against the effects of biofuel such as deposit build up in the tank and on filters and injectors, plus extending the shelf life of fuel, along with an anti bug maintenance dose of biocide.
- Anti-Bug Protect– The higher levels of FAME content increase the chances of microbial infestation (bugs) in the tank. This product can be used in a maintenance dose to prevent this from happening
- Anti-Bug Kill – To eliminate bugs after they have been identified in the tank.
For additional information on FAME, click to read Dept. of Transport official document