VTG Rail UK studies effects of B5 blend in tank cars

By Ryan C. Christiansen | January 01, 2009
Web exclusive posted Jan. 14, 2009, at 11:27 a.m. CST

VTG Rail UK Ltd., based in Birmingham, U.K., a subsidiary of the rail logistics and rail car leasing company VTG Aktiengesellschaft, based in Hamburg, Germany, has completed a one-year study in partnership with tank car lining manufacturers to determine the effects of biodiesel on tank car components and interiors. According to VTG, the study concluded that B5 blended with petroleum diesel has no adverse affect on tank cars parts and lining materials.

Over a six-month period, VTG conducted immersion tests with B5 and found during ongoing internal inspections that no softening or swelling of the lining material was detected. The biodiesel blend did not have any effect on the lining other than some minor discoloration, which does not affect performance. The blend also did not affect tank car components.

According to VTG, the company will conduct further tests to ensure that tank cars can accommodate higher blends up to B15.

"Following the results of the study, VTG has approved the use of biofuels in its tank vehicles. But at the moment, (VTG) recommends that the bio additive concentration should not exceed the 5 percent limit," said Paul Lugg, tank fleet manager for VTG.
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