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A company has completed tests to determine the effectiveness of the Wilks Infraspec VFA-IR Spectrometer, Model EB, for detecting biodiesel contamination in diesel fuels about to enter a pipeline.

More than 20 different diesel fuels were tested for the presence of biodiesel and to see if they would cause false positive readings.

The testing concluded that the Wilks Infraspec Spectrometer could be used to detect biodiesel levels as low as 100ppm as well as provide a quick check for fuel contamination at a price lower than other analytical instruments, according to Wilks.

The Infraspec VFA-IR Spectrometer, Model EB, is able to check for fuel contamination in less than five minutes by an operator with minimal training.

It eliminates the need to wait for measurement results from an off-site laboratory.

The Infraspec Spectrometer incorporates a flow-through sample system and integrated syringe pump with automatic software controls for all pumping actions.

Currently, the ASTM Method D 975 allows up to five per cent biodiesel in diesel without the requirement for biodiesel content labelling.

For some diesel fuel applications, the presence of even a little biodiesel is a major concern.

Pipeline operators are concerned that a diesel shipment could unknowingly contain biodiesel and cause ‘trail back’ where trace amounts of biodiesel clinging to the walls of the pipe can end up in future diesel fuel shipments.

Emergency diesel generator operators, such as nuclear power plants, which store fuels for long periods, are also concerned that the presence of biodiesel could cause bacterial growth that clogs fuel filters and can shut down a generator just when it is needed most.

The Infraspec Spectrometer is compact, portable and has a simplified PC interface that gives the user the capability to measure onsite at a pipeline, nuclear power plant, or at a manufacturing facility, as well as in the laboratory.

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