What are the New Pitfalls & Quality Assurance for Biofuels Today? (Part I)

Today, the biofuels global market is a complex business. But why? Several factors affecting this market range from different biomass resources to various supply systems...

29 January 2013

Today, the biofuels global market is a complex business. But why? Several factors affecting this market range from different biomass resources to various supply systems and different conversion techniques – all requiring high demand of quality assurance during the supply chain from raw materials towards end products like transportation fuels.

Recently, new developments in the RED are proposing a blending limitation on conventional biofuels and promoting the use of higher blends with new, more advanced bio-components. At this time, however, fuel quality specification becomes more strict as a result of new engine and catalyst developments stemming from the automotive industry to improve engine performance, fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions.

The varied characteristics of an increasing range of feedstocks for conventional biodiesel production and trading demands rigorous testing and inspection throughout the supply chain.  But what are some examples of pitfalls which lead to technical restrictions for the existing fleet cars? Some include:

  • Cold flow properties.
  • Incompatibility with additives.
  • Hygroscopic character of biodiesel.
  • Filter blocking issues; and
  • Stability issues during transport and storage.

However, what does the roadmap look like for the distribution of biofuels and novel fuels for the automotive industry? And, more specifically, how is quality monitoring of bio components impact the importance of an engine?

Learn more in Part II of this blog running tomorrow, Wednesday, January 30.

Today’s expert blogger is Kurt Tyssen, Business Line Manager, Analytical Assessment, EAME, Intertek. Kurt is based in Antwerp and is leading the biofuels and bio aviation fuel services for the last several years for Intertek within the European region.