Warning on the Price of FAME

4th October 2010

OFTEC has joined forces with Industrial and Commercial Energy Association (ICOM) and the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) to highlight the effects of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) in gas oil.
From January 2011, European legislation will mean gas oil (Diesel) intended for non-road mobile machinery such as tractors could contain up to 7% FAME biodiesel. However, it is likely that only this one type of gas oil may be widely available, and will therefore affect the small number of oil heating installations in the UK using gas oil. Most British oil heating installations are fueled by Kerosene, a fuel type similar to that used in jet aircraft.
The change is particularly important for industrial and commercial sites using biodiesel fuel for heating or cooking. Service engineers and fuel distributors need to be aware of the changes, and the potential impact on fuel storage and combustion.
OFTEC Director General Jeremy Hawksley said, "Biodiesel is a powerful solvent and because it is hygroscopic will absorb water. Potential problems can occur with non-biodiesel compatible seals and clogged filters from residual deposits being flushed through the system."
In a joint briefing note OFTEC, ICOM and FPS outline measures that can prevent damage occurring, starting with a storage tank audit. Existing tanks should be cleaned internally, and seals and pipes checked and replaced if necessary with biodiesel compatible ones. Filters and pumps should also be checked.
Susan Hancock, Chief Executive of the FPS, said "FPS members will be communicating with their gas oil customers over the coming months to ensure that they are aware of the more stringent tank housekeeping needed when storing fuels containing biodiesel. The joint briefing note will be used as part of this exercise."
The OFTEC website provides a list of registered technicians who specialise in tank installation and maintenance

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Article Last Updated 7th November 2010
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