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Biodiesel Cold Flow Basics Information for Petroleum Distributors, Blenders, and End-Users on Issues Affecting Biodiesel in the Winter Months Prepared.

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Presentation on theme: "Biodiesel Cold Flow Basics Information for Petroleum Distributors, Blenders, and End-Users on Issues Affecting Biodiesel in the Winter Months Prepared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Biodiesel Cold Flow Basics Information for Petroleum Distributors, Blenders, and End-Users on Issues Affecting Biodiesel in the Winter Months Prepared by the National Biodiesel Board 2014

2 Diesel Fuel & Cold Weather Operability Operability is defined as the lowest temperature a vehicle will operate without loss of power due to waxing of the fuel delivery system.

3 Diesel Fuel Background Information Relevant to Biodiesel Diesel fuels composition and cold flow properties vary greatly across the United States. Cold flow characteristics of diesel fuels are influenced by the source of the crude oil they are made from, how they are refined and if they are blended to improve performance during cold weather. The cold temperature properties of diesel fuel vary across the country depending on the time of year the fuel is produced and the climate. Generally, diesel fuels used in cold climates have better cold flow characteristics than diesel fuels used in warmer regions. Both of these statements have a direct impact on the operability of biodiesel blends in cold weather

4 Cloud Point Temperature where wax crystals first appear Cold Filter Plugging Point The lowest operating temperature in which a vehicle will operate Pour Point Lowest temperature where fuel is observed to flow Three Important Cold Weather Parameters that Define Operability for Diesel Fuels & Biodiesel

5 CRYSTALS GROW AND BEGIN TO ADHERE TO ONE ANOTHER Understanding the Cold Flow Mechanism in Diesel Fuel and Biodiesel NUCLEI LARGE CRYSTALS ADHERE, TRAPPING LIQUID. POCKETS ARE FORMED SIMILAR TO A HONEY COMB. FUEL GELLED. Pour Point VISIBLE CRYSTALS Cloud Point More wax precipitates as the temperature decreases

6 Typical Treatment of Diesel for Cold Weather Operation Additives Commercial cold flow additives can help winter operability by modifying the wax crystal structure during crystal formation when cooling occurs. Dosage level (expressed in parts per million (ppm)) of individual commercial additives varies depending on wax content and temperature. Key Point: Additive must be added to fuel before it reaches cloud point temperature to be effective. Screening your fuels with appropriate additives and biodiesel blends is recommended.

7 Kerosene (#1-D) #1-D has excellent cold flow properties and is generally blended with #2-D in the winter months across the United States to meet customer cold flow specifications, improving / insuring operability. Cloud and pour points, and CFPPs of some #1-D can be well below -30 º F. Typical Treatment of Diesel for Cold Weather Operation

8 Biodiesel and Cold Weather Operability Basic Facts about Biodiesel & Cold Weather B100 freezes faster than most US petrodiesel. Untreated B20 freezes about 2-10° F faster than #2 petrodiesel, depending on: the cold flow properties of the biodiesel the cold flow properties of the petrodiesel at blend levels of 20% and less (< B20), the cold weather parameters of the diesel fuel will dominate

9 Biodiesel Feedstock Composition and Cold Weather Operability The cold flow properties of biodiesel fuels are dependant on the feedstock (specific type of oil, fat or grease) from which they are made and are a strong function of the level of saturated fat. Animal fats, palm and coconut oils are more highly saturated traditionaly higher Cetane Number, higher cloud point. INCREASING CETANE NUMBER (CN) AND STABILITY BETTER COLD FLOW PROPERTIES

10 Cold Soak Filtration Test… Under conditions prescribed by ASTM D7501, a 300mL test sample is chilled, warmed and filtered. The time required to pass through a specific filter is measured. The entire sample volume must pass through the filter within 360 seconds. If vehicle performance is expected at or below -12 o C / 10.4 o F then a max of 200 seconds must not be exceeded.

11 Blending Biodiesel In The Cold Cold Weather Considerations: When blending, the temperature of the biodiesel should be a minimum of 60 o F or… 15 o F above the cloud point. In-line blending ensures the best mixing If in-line blending for loading trucks is not available in cold weather, first add half the diesel (warm if possible). Followed by warm biodiesel at high pressure and volume to enhance thorough mixing followed by the other half of the diesel. Avoid introducing biodiesel directly into a cold and empty tank. Resource: A Biodiesel Blend Handling Guide. Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Common Cloud Points for B100 Water Freezes Recycled Grease (UCO, WVO) Animal Fat Plant Oils Room Temperature Safe blend temp 60 o F CP Feed Stock Dependent

12 ASTM D

13 Cold Weather Performance with Biodiesel Establish a benchmark for cold flow protection based on the ASTM D975 Tenth Percentile Minimum Ambient Air Temperature. the lowest ambient air temperature which will not go lower on average more that 10% of the time Make sure the petroleum distributor is aware of this and incorporates it into blending operations

14 Biodiesel Blending and Cold Weather Operability The impact of blending biodiesel with diesel fuel is dependent on the characteristics of the base diesel fuel and the methyl ester.

15 Generally, the better the cold flow characteristics of the base diesel fuel, the greater the effect of blending biodiesel on its cold flow properties. Blending biodiesel with #1-D and premium diesel fuels tends to affect cold flow properties more than blending biodiesel with #2-D. Biodiesel Blending and Cold Weather Operability

16 Concerns arise when the fuel temperature falls below the cloud point of either fuel, independently, or as a finished blend fuel. Biodiesel Blending and Cold Weather Operability

17 B100 Cold Weather Storage and Delivery Precautions B100 stored in cold temperatures must be heated to at least 15 degrees higher than the biodiesel feedstock being used prior to distribution or blending into middle distillates of any grade. If pumping biodiesel in cold weather through a conventional fuel pump, keep the hose and supply line to the pump equally protected with heat. An option to heating the systems is to blend B100 with 50% kerosene to dilute the cold weather properties of the biodiesel.

18 Cold Weather Blending Options and Precautions With any type of blending (splash, in-tank or bottom loading), putting B100 into a cold empty truck can cause the fuel to gel, prohibiting proper mixing. Always maintain biodiesel at 15º F above its cloud point prior to blending with diesel fuel.

19 Low Blends of Biodiesel and Cold Weather Operability Blends of 2% and 5% biodiesel with diesel fuel have little impact on cold flow properties. Only small increases in cloud and pour point are observed

20 As long as the B2 or B5 blend is made using an appropriate winter grade diesel fuel, no special provisions are required for storing, transferring or using the fuel. Low Blends of Biodiesel and Cold Weather Operability

21 Biodiesel and Cold Flow Additives Most cold flow additives essentially work only on the diesel portion of the biodiesel blend as U.S. oils and fats contain too high a level of saturated compounds for most additives to be effective. The cold flow additive effectiveness can also change dramatically depending on the exact type of biodiesel and the processing it has undergone; much like the situation found with diesel fuel.

22 Conclusions Cold flow properties of petrodiesel fuel vary widely. One MUST be aware of the cold flow properties of both the biodiesel AND the petrodiesel. With blends of 20% and below, petrodiesel is dominant Prepared properly, blends of B5 or less do not appear to be appreciably different from the base petrodiesel.

23 Blending biodiesel with #2 petrodiesel in blends of 20% (B20) does have an impact on the cold flow properties. Saturated oils and fats have more of an effect on cold flow properties. Blending biodiesel with #1 petrodiesel in blends of 20% (B20) results in more of an impact on cold flow properties than with #2 petrodiesel. But the resulting #1 blend still has better cold flow values than #2. Conclusions

24 Cool Customers Cranmore Mountain Resort When snow falls at a rate of several inches per hour and all signs point to perfect weekend ski conditions, this ski resort has a lot riding on successful operation of its snow grooming equipment. How others use biodiesel in cold climates

25 Cool Customers City of Brooklyn Park, MN The city has used biodiesel blends since 1999 in its fleet of over 100 vehicles including fire trucks, utility and police vehicles. How others use biodiesel in cold climates

26 Cool Customers Yellowstone National Park Biodiesel powers about 300 vehicles, boilers and other diesel equipment at the crown jewel of Americas National Park System. How others use biodiesel in cold climates


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