France increases FAME percentage in diesel to 8%

We’ve often speculated that the percentage of biodiesel added to petrochemical diesel would rise from the current level of 7%, but it seems that France has made the first move.

Since 2011 international markets have mixed a portion of biodiesel with petrochemical disesel to improve the environmental impact of using the fuel. Although there are many types of biodiesels available, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) is the most common type used across the world.

In January the French Energy Ministry issued a Ministerial Order announcing that the maximum level of FAME that could be added to diesel would be increased to 8% (8% biodiesel/92% petrochemical) which is referred to as B8.

This news prompted opposition statements from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), FuelsEurope and the Union of European Petroleum Independents (UPEI).

Currently, for fuel to be sold in Europe it must comply with EN590 standards. These guidelines include a limit on the amount of biodiesel that can be added. By standardising fuel quality, engine manufacturers can confidently develop engine technology based on those parameters.

An increase in the level of FAME will alter how fuels perform and will speed up the rate of contamination. At the current ratio of B7 fuel suppliers suggest diesel should only be stored for up to 6-12 months. After which fuel starts to suffer from three main types of contamination:

  • Microbial growth (a.k.a. the ‘diesel bug’)
  • Water contamination
  • Solid particulate contamination

Modern engines operate at very high pressures and with incredibly precise allowances. Whilst this delivers great performance, it does mean they are highly sensitive to fuel contamination. Any small fuel contaminants can cause accelerated wear to fuel system components.

Ensuring your fuel is clean and dry

Although it’s impossible to remove biodiesel from fuel, we can ensure your fuel is clean and dry. This is achieved through our Fuel Conditioning Programme that includes:

  • Testing – IPU’s regular tests alert you to problems introduced by contaminated deliveries or tank breaches.
  • Cleaning – IPU’s ClearTank cleaning service cleans your fuel to ISO 4406 code and EN590 standards. It is a one-time process that prepares your fuel for long-term conditioning.
  • Polishing – IPU’s Diesel Defence on-tank and mobile polishing units condition your fuel to keep it clean, dry and ready to power your critical applications.
  • Stabilising – IPU’s ADV Regulator neutralises the tiny molecules of water and contaminants that are too small for polishing units.

We know that you just want reliable power. You want somebody else to make sure your fuel is clean and dry so your time is free for your real job. That somebody is IPU.

With a single supplier to deal with, IPU assumes total responsibility for all aspects of your fuel conditioning, simplifies your back-office administration and gives your operations staff a single point of contact.

For more information simply call the IPU Fuel team on +44 (0) 121 511 0470.