When you are in the business of producing biofuels, you will want to know that you are working with a trusted laboratory to ensure your product is safe from any unwanted elements or contaminants.
It is crucial that a producer of biofuel is attentive during the conversion process or they may wind up with a low-quality product. Issues that can affect your biofuels are:
- Excess water left behind in the biodiesel fuel
- Fuel that didn’t have time to properly polymerize/oxidize due to long-term exposure
- Traces of the chemicals that are left behind from making biodiesel
- Products from the reaction that are not completely removed from the biodiesel
- Unconverted oil left in the biodiesel
Biofuel testing is a necessary step in the process to verify and check the accuracy of the blends as a requirement by clients, manufacturers, suppliers, or distributors. Without it, your customers will not know if the biofuel they are receiving meets their needs. This could have adverse effects on their machines and engines.
What First and Second Generation Biofuels Are and Why They Must Be Tested
Biofuels are considered a type of energy source that can be derived directly or indirectly from renewable plant and animal materials — such as crops and waste. They are often used to help meet transportation needs. Common examples of biofuels include ethanol, biodiesel, green diesel, and biogas.
As mentioned above, biofuels can be used as transportation fuels such as biodiesel or ethanol. In order to do this, these fuels are blended with petroleum fuels, such as diel fuel or gasoline, but can also be used on their own. These are referred to as first-generation biofuels.
Before biofuels are ready for consumer use, it is necessary to verify the accuracy of the blends to ensure they are safe.
In biodiesels, you will want to know what the acid level in the oil is. If the acid is too high, the product will need to be cut with more of the base solution to produce the correct blend. Biodiesel is typically produced by mixing animal fat or vegetable oil with alcohol, but can also be burned in its pure form or when blended for different engine use.
Ethanol can be burned at a nearly pure form or when mixed with petrol. If ethanol is mixed with petrol, it actually improves combustion performance while lowering emissions of carbon monoxide and sulfur oxide.
The biofuel content needs to be tested in order to determine what it can be used for. The type of blend indicates what type of combustion power, emission level, and fuel efficiency you will see.
For instance, blends of 20 percent biodiesel or lower can be used in diesel equipment with little to no modification. Other levels for different types of transportation vehicles have been set depending on the quality and blend.
Second-generation biofuels refer to plant matter that is composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. These can be sourced from fast-growing grasses and trees as well as waste products from agriculture and forestry.
Second-generation biofuels may serve as a better alternative for sustainability and reduction in greenhouse emissions, but the process of converting cellulose to ethanol is currently difficult and time-consuming.
Biofuel Testing Services at Barrow-Agee Laboratories
Barrow-Agee Laboratories aims to provide our customers with personalized service that you cannot get anywhere else. We put an emphasis on understanding that your product needs to be of quality — which is why we treat it with such care.
Our biofuel testing lab services provide you with results in under a week so your business can continue to run smoothly and so that you can get your product into customers’ hands.
If you have questions about our biofuel testing lab, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help.