governmentchemist


Environment Agency published Biodiesel Quality Protocol by Nick Boley
November 26, 2014, 13:14
Filed under: Fuels, transport, UK Government Information, Waste | Tags: ,

The Environment Agency has published a new Biodiesel Quality Protocol which lays down when a biodiesel product made from waste oil is no longer a waste product.

It makes clear which waste products can be used (waste oil from cooking, rendered animal fats and waste oils no longer fit for consumption) and reminds producers of the testing regime which needs to be adhered to: the first batch produced, in order to show that the quality standard is being reached, and thence one in every ten batches, and at least once per month. Each batch must also be tested in-house and samples kept for 3 months in case further testing or examination is required.

BS EN 14214:202 must be used for this. This, amongst other things, lays down the testing procedure to be used for fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) analysis.



New UK Legislation on Marine and Motor Fuel Composition by Nick Boley
November 25, 2014, 11:57
Filed under: Fuels, UK Legislation | Tags: , ,

New legislation has been published in the United Kingdom regarding the quality and composition of marine and motor fuels.

The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) and Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 3076/2014) implements EU Directive 33/2012 which specifies the maximum sulfur content of marine fuel oils, and also specifies the methods to be used to measure the sulfur levels in both marine and motor fuels.

Marine fuel oil containing 0.10 % by mass sulfur can not be placed on the market after 31 December 2014. Vessels at berth in UK ports can not fill their tanks with fuel with a greater sulfur content. For ships outside a sulfur oxide emission control area, the maximum sulfur content allowable in marine fuel is 3.50 % by mass until 31 December 2019, when it reduces to 0.5 %.

The reference measurement method for determining the sulfur content of both marine and motor fuels is now either ISO method 8754 (2003) or BS EN 14596. These methods employ the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technique which is sufficiently sensitive to be able to accurately measure sulfur concentrations at these lower levels. ISO 8754 (2003) uses energy-dispersive XRF (EDXRF) and BS EN 14596 uses wavelength dispersive XRF (WDXRF).

 



New English Regulations on Authorised Fuels in Smoke Control Area by Nick Boley

The UK Government has published new regulations concerning which fuels are authorised for use in smoke control areas. The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) Regulations 2014.

These regulations list 67 products which are authorised to be used in smoke control areas. These products comprise briquettes and firelogs mainly, all of which have specifications as to their composition. Compositional data includes – across the wide product range – information on anthracite content, petroleum coke content, as well as levels of binders (e.g. phosphoric acid) and sulphur levels.

These products all require accurate validated methods to be used in order to verify their composition in order to confirm compliance with these new Regulations.



Marine fuel to have lower sulfur levels by Nick Boley
November 27, 2012, 10:29
Filed under: Environment/Ecology, Fuels | Tags: ,

The European Commission has published Directive 2012/33/EU on 21 November 2012. This amends Council Directive 1999/32/EC and specifies the maximum content of sulfur in marine fuels.

The maximum level of sulfur in marine fuel has been 1% since July 2010 and this will reduce further to 0.1% from January 2015 for vessels from EU member states. The level of sulfur in marine fuels for non-EU vessels is also being reduced to 3.5% from January 2014 and 0.5% from January 2020.

These changes are being introduced to reduce the contribution to atmospheric pollution of oxides of sulfur (SOx) from the marine sector, which is one of the largest contributors to this. This will increase the costs of fuel to shipping and ferry companies, at least in the short-term, which is a cause of some concern.

Analytical methods for accurately determining the sulfur content of fuels at these levels of interest are available to assist enforcement.



European Commission to limit adverse effects of biofuel production by Nick Boley
October 18, 2012, 12:26
Filed under: Environment/Ecology, Fuels | Tags:

The European Commission is proposing to reduce the use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive down to 5%. This is being proposed in order to reduce the effect on food production by preventing land being used for biofuel crop production, and to increase the use of other biofuels, so-called second generation biofuels, which create lower greenhouse gas emissions.

This proposal will need to be enforced, when introduced into legislation, and the measurement aspects will be critical to ensure that laboratories are able to identify and quantify food-based biofuels in mixed fuels, and to distinguish them from “better” second-generation biofuels.



New CEN documents for fuel analysis published by Nick Boley
October 8, 2012, 16:12
Filed under: CEN Standards, Fuels | Tags:

CEN, the European Standards Organisation, have published 2 standards and one technical specification (TS) covering automotive fuels during September.

CEN/TS15940:2012 is entitled “Automotive fuels –  Paraffinic diesel fuel from synthesis or hydrotreatment – Requirements and test methods”

EN 16270:2012 is entitled “Automotive fuels – Determination of high-boiling components including fatty acid methyl esters in petrol – Gas Chromatographic method.”

EN 16300:2012 is entitled ” Automotive fuels – Determination of iodine value in fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) – Calculation method from gas chromatographic data.

These reflect the use of fuels from non-fossil sources in modern petroleum products, as required under legislation.