Biofuel Industry News

Pending ASTM Biodiesel Blend Method for Filter-Based IR Analysers

May 07 2013 Comments 0

Currently, Methods D7371 and EN 14078 require FTIR spectrometers for biodiesel blend analysis.  Placing expensive equipment at a loading dock to ensure biodiesel blend accuracy is not a preferred choice of terminal operators. In addition to the cost associated with FTIR spectrometers, the level of technical knowledge required to operate them presents another issue. Filter-based infrared analysers, such as the Wilks InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser and InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer, are rugged, compact and much better suited for the environment where fuels are blended. Therefore, Wilks Enterprise (USA) has championed an ASTM method which provides a fast, easy-to-use and inexpensive infrared method for measuring biodiesel (FAME-Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) in biodiesel. This ASTM Method is now in the process of full committee voting and should be approved and accepted before the end of 2013.

The InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser is a rugged, compact, specific-analysis fixed-filter infrared analyser.  It is easy to use by fleet managers, distributors, or regulators.  It reads out directly in % biodiesel and provides the user with the capability to quickly measure the blend ratio on-site in 30 seconds.  Its measurement range is 0 to 100% with an accuracy of +/- 0.20 % and can be operated by personnel having little or no knowledge of infrared analytical techniques.

The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer is a spectral range analyser which contains a linear variable filter and a detector array covering the wavelength range of 5.4-10.8 μm (1850-925 cm-1). This provides the capability to not only measure biodiesel in diesel, but also ethanol in gasoline or water in ethanol. It is a compact, portable instrument with a simplified PC interface that provides non-technical personnel with the ability to make measurements on-site at the  blending terminal, as well as the manufacturing facility or laboratory.

While FTIR spectrometers have the capability to do much more than a simple biodiesel blend analysis, the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser and InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer are ideal workhorses that have been specifically designed for use in field environments and by non-technical personnel. With the acceptance of this new ASTM Method, the biodiesel manufacturing and blending industries will have a fast, simple to use , inexpensive method for determining biodiesel.

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