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Malaysia rolls out B10 biodiesel amidst national controversy

Malaysia is preparing to roll out B10 biodiesel to its national fuel supply, but the decision is causing controversy between the country’s automotive industry and biodiesel producers.

B10 biodiesel, containing 10% biofuel, will be implemented in the Southeast Asian county this June as part of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities’ biodiesel programme, reports automotive news site paultan.org.

But in opposition to the decision, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), which according to its website protects the interests of the country’s automotive industry, has sent a letter to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

In the letter, MAA expresses its concern that biodiesel in concentrations higher than B7 may prove harmful to diesel engines, and that its members have been advised that using higher grade biodiesel will void engine warranties.

Diesel fuel injection equipment manufacturers have also issued a joint statement, claiming that their equipment has been designed for B7 fuel according to the EN14214:2009 standard and it may not work with higher concentrations.

MAA also claims that the long-term effects of even the B7 fuel, which was introduced in late 2014 with a nationwide implementation a year later in 2015, in local car engines are not yet fully known.

Opposing view

But the Malaysian Biodiesel Association (MBA), representing the biodiesel producers, has refuted MAA’s claims in a statement, saying that higher blend biodiesels are already being tested and “MBA does not foresee any issues” on engines.

The MBA says it in March organised a “B10 expedition” to the Cameron Highlands area in eastern Malaysia, which comprised of several vehicles of different makes and models running on biodiesel blends ranging from B10 to B100.

The association reports that “no known engine issues” were detected during this expedition, despite the vehicles travelling a combined total of more than 600km.

Furthermore, it states there will be no warranty issues “as the MBA understands”.

This article was written by Ilari Kauppila, deputy editor at Biofuels International