Minnesota biodiesel exceeding quality specifications

By The National Biodiesel Board | November 17, 2014

Recent testing found biodiesel in Minnesota exceeded important fuel quality parameters set by the industry as the state completed its first successful summer run with B10 statewide. The field testing from more than 30 random retail stations scattered throughout the state of Minnesota showed biodiesel blends greatly exceeding fuel stability parameters. This real-world data showcases the recent trend in increasing biodiesel quality from coast to coast.

“Biodiesel fuel quality is at an all-time high across the industry,” said Scott Fenwick, National Biodiesel Board technical director. “The recent results from the Minnesota testing are just another example of why consumers can feel confident filling up with biodiesel blends.”

Oxidative stability is a key indicator of fuel quality in biodiesel blends, which is a measure of degradation caused by exposure to oxygen. Plymouth, Minnesota-based MEG Corp., a fuel consulting company, took blind samples in September from retailers across three regions in Minnesota—north, metro and south.

All of the samples taken surpassed the minimum required specification for oxidative stability and nearly all of the samples were three to four times better than the minimum. Fenwick said higher values indicate even better stability, and this new real-world data is important as some original equipment manufacturers look for more assurances that biodiesel blends are meeting specifications at the pump. The minimum stability requirements within the current biodiesel specs only recommend that biodiesel be storable for up to six months, which is more than enough time for most diesel applications.

“With these high stability values we saw in Minnesota, under well-maintained storage conditions, consumers can expect the B10 that they purchased to be good for at least a year according to data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory,” said Fenwick. “To see biodiesel outperforming the very stringent specs is a great sign for the industry.”

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