Fuel for Thought

Biodiesel Analysis Utilising Alternating Current Small-Signal Impedance Spectroscopy - The i-SPEC™ Q 100 Handheld Analyser

Nov 05 2008

Author: R.W. Hirthe R. Young V.C. Gordon on behalf of Paradigm Sensors

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Alternative fuels, especially ethanol and biodiesel, are rapidly gaining momentum to reduce US and EU dependence on traditional motor vehicle fuels, to improve air quality, and to reduce the carbon footprint. Biodiesel use is accelerating faster than any other fuel due to its use of non-food feedstocks (animal fat and used vegetable oil) and the minimal need to alter diesel engines or fuel delivery infrastructure when using biodiesel. William Thurmond, author of Biodiesel 2020 International (http://www.emerging-markets.com/biodiesel/), says: "A fundamental transition in global fuel production is now happening. In the year 2007, there were only 20 oil producing nations supplying the needs of over 200 nations. By the year 2010, more than 200 nations will become biodiesel producing nations and suppliers. The world is entering a new era of participation by emerging market nations in global green energy production for transport fuels.” Fuel quality is the key issue faced by any biodiesel producer or distributor. Fuel is transported through numerous channels before it gets to the consumer, creating many points along the supply chain at which fuel quality may be compromised. Fuel quality can deteriorate as it is introduced, stored, diluted, or further distributed and sold. Problems in fuel quality can result in clogged filters and injectors, rough engine operation and wear, ruined fuel injection pumps, crank case oil deterioration and long-term engine damage.

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