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Setaflash accepted for Biofuels

19/2/2007

Proven flash point testing from Seta…

Setaflash is the only flash point tester for B100 Biodiesel and Bio Heating Fuels

Biodiesel is the fuel often referred to as B100 (100% biodiesel) or FAME, FAEE, Tallow or Yellow Grease. When 5% is blended with diesel it is referred to as B5.

When biodiesel is manufactured from one of the many oils extracted from soya or rape seed, methanol or ethanol is used. At the end of the process minute amounts of the methanol or ethanol can remain which has the effect of reducing the flash point from 180 deg C to well below 100 deg C.

In order to check that significant amounts of methanol or ethanol are not present both European (EN 14213 14214) and ASTM B100 (D6751) specifications decided to specify a flash point test with a pass criteria of a flash point above 130 deg C.

Pensky-Martens v Setaflash

A few years ago work carried out in Europe showed that the Pensky-Martens test did not give a reliable result due to the loss of the volatile methanol into the vapour space in the sample can during the number of complete tests required to obtain a valid result.

Tests using a Setaflash (small scale) showed that this flash no-flash method combined with an automatic flash detector (methanol burns with a colourless flame which is difficult to see) gave a better result. A European round robin was carried out and the Setaflash method (EN ISO 3679) was then adopted into the two European specifications as the only test method for flash point.

In the USA it was decided to make the Pensky-Martens the referee method in D6751 although it did not have precision for biodiesel. Setaflash is listed as an alternative.

The future of flash point testing of Biodiesel

In the USA work has commenced to modify Pensky-Martens by reducing the Procedure A heating rate and stirring at the higher rate for this application. A third round robin is scheduled for mid March 2007.

D3828 and its equivalent EN ISO methods 3679 and 3680 are different in that the EN ISOs contain precision for biodiesel. D3828 has therefore been amended to include the European precision data. The revised D3828 method passed the first ASTM ballot and the final ballot is now complete.

In Europe a further round robin is planned for biodiesel using un-modified Pensky-Martens and Setaflash.

Setaflash ActiveCool

Setaflash Series 3 ActiveCool now features an extended test temperature range up to 130 deg , which facilitates quick and easy testing of B100 Biodiesel and Bio Heating Oil in accordance with methods ISO 3679 & ASTM D3828 which are specification tests in EN 14213, EN 14214 and ASTM D6751.

To visit our Biofuels website please click here

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