Biofuel Industry News

Portable Infrared Analyser Helps Nuclear Power Plants Ensure Biodiesel-Free Diesel Fuel

Aug 06 2009 Read 1225 Times

Nuclear power plants are required to maintain a large quantity of stored fuel to ensure operation of standby diesel generators for more than a week and the presence of biodiesel in the fuel is a major concern.  Since the diesel fuel may be stored for long periods of time, the presence of biodiesel can cause degradation over time.  An easy-to-use, portable infrared analyser - the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser – from Wilks Enterprise, Inc. (USA) will determine the presence of biodiesel in diesel fuel deliveries for standby generators in under a minute. 

Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG) supply electrical power to safely shutdown the nuclear reactor in the event of a loss of normal offsite power and supply power to critical items such as cooling pumps for decay heat removal.  Biodiesel is a natural food source for microbial growth and while biocides should prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and mold, nuclear power plants cannot risk that microbial growth could clog filters and shut down the EDG.  In cold weather areas, there is also concern that the cold flow properties of biodiesel blended fuel may cause it to gel in cold temperatures and again clog filters. The ASTM Method D 975 currently allows up to 5% biodiesel in diesel without the requirement for biodiesel content labeling. Therefore, it has become necessary for many standby generator operators to determine whether their fuel delivery contains biodiesel.

The portable InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyser provides blend ratio measurements on diesel fuel in under a minute and will detect down to 0.2% biodiesel in diesel. The InfraCal Analyser is rugged, compact, and easy to use by non-technical personnel. It weighs less than 5 lbs. and can be operated from a battery pack or a cigarette lighter adapter cable making it ideal for use in a field environment. An internal calibration table allows the InfraCal Analyser to read out directly in percent biodiesel and provides the user with the capability to quickly measure the diesel fuel on-site to ensure the purity of the fuel.

 

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