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New test determines biodiesel content in conventional diesel fuel

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Oil analysis company TestOil has launched a new test to determine the biodiesel content in conventional fuel. The test is a response to requests from industrial customers that need to ensure the fuel they use meets OEM requirements for biodiesel content.

“We have received inquiries from customers asking if we had the capability to test for biodiesel content,” explained Monika Malcolm, analytical services manager at TestOil. “The need is definitely there, but there was almost no one to meet it. Our new test is excellent for industrial applications such as generators, trucks, and other mobile equipment including forklifts, bulldozers and mining machinery.”

The addition of biodiesel to conventional diesel fuel is becoming increasingly common, with benefits including increased lubricity, reduction of harmful emissions and the sustainable credentials of biodiesel.

While biodiesel blends are compatible with most diesel engines, issues including hose or seal incompatibility and cold weather gelling can occur if the biodiesel concentration exceeds OEM recommendations.

While biodiesel content labelling is required by the US Federal Trade Commission for all blends containing more than 5% biodiesel, the label is not always accurate. The consequences of mislabelling can be significant, including degrading performance, damaging the machine or even voiding the warranty.

It is not possible to tell by observation how much biodiesel a fuel contains, thus the only way to verify biodiesel content is through laboratory analysis. Although the demand for this testing is high, currently very few labs offer the service.

“Being able to verify the amount of biodiesel in a fuel blend is one more way we meet the needs of our customers,” added Mary Messuti, COO of TestOil. “We always have an ear to the ground so that we can respond quickly to their needs. While we don’t always have an immediate solution, we take any request as a challenge to investigate a way to meet it. This new biodiesel test is a prime example of that.”

In addition to the new biodiesel content test, TestOil offers additional tests including water content and bacteria count.