SAE J1488_201010 needed for Diesel Infrastructure Corrosion, Prevention, says Dieselpure

November 27, 2016 |

In Washington, a July 2016 EPA report has brought corrosion into the spotlight. What was not mentioned in the EPA report is that there is a simple preventative maintenance item that prevents corrosion, filtering biodiesel blends with filters tested against SAE J1488_201010.

Fuel experts have documented severe and rapid corrosion in our existing diesel infrastructure, affecting storage tanks, emergency generators, diesel engines, fittings and piping. The fuel is acidifying. This infrastructure corrosion is reflected in the EPA Final Report on UST corrosion, July 2016; “The major finding from our research is that moderate or severe corrosion on metal components in UST systems storing diesel fuel in the United States could be a very common occurrence.” (See EPA summary at the bottom of the article)

This corrosion was first noticed in 2007, after the adoption of ULSD in 2006. Various additives and fuel components are included with ULSD. Some of these additives and fuel components are polar, which means there is an electrical charge to the molecule. Water is also polar. The fuel is attracting large amounts of water which are chemically bonded to the diesel as entrained water. Biodiesel is one fuel component.

Why is there so much more water? The 2007 research paper “Moisture Absorption in Biodiesel and its Petro-diesel Blends”, compared 100% diesel to 100% biodiesel. 100% biodiesel absorbed 15 to 25 times more water than pure diesel, depending on humidity and temperature. As well, water was absorber quickly, hitting saturation in just one day.

Water is no longer just sitting on the bottom of the tank. Entrained water is staying in the fuel itself, it does not precipitate out. The entrained water is dramatically increasing the growth volume of microbes; some of the microbes produce acids.

Because of these bonds, it is much more difficult to filter the entrained water. SAE J1488, the standard for the removal of water from fuel, was updated to reflect the adoption of ULSD and biodiesel blends and the difficulty of removing entrained water. The standard was updated in 2010 from SAE J1488_199708 to SAE J1488_201010. Pre J1488_201010 filters can continue to remove 100% of particulate and 100% of free standing water, but are not efficient at removing entrained water.

A new generation of filters have been designed remove entrained water. To prevent acidification, these new generation filters need to be 92% efficient in removing the entrained water. The J1488 test procedure injects 2500 ppm of entrained water into the fuel, then records how efficient a filter is at breaking the bonds between fuel and water. A 92% efficiency will keep water below 200 ppm, which is OEM warranty levels for emergency backup generators. (2500 * (1-.92) = 200). This low level also restricts the microbial growth to prevent acidification. The testing organization, such as Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), will then produce a report detailing the filters efficiency. It is key to have this report provided to substantiate a filters claims.

England has had biodiesel longer than North America. As of June 2016, it is a national code requirement that any critical emergency backup generator can only use filters meeting SAE J1488_201010 (BS 5410-3 2016).

Due to the severity of the corrosion, and how quickly water is absorbed, storage tanks need to have a filtration system permanently attached. The system will turn over the fuel in an eight hour period, three times a week.

3 Biodiesel Related Failures in One Day

These 3 failures give a good representation of some of the failure points users can expect; corrosion of tanks, failure of pipes and fittings, and biomass plugging filters, according to Dieselpure.

Failure 1: a 10 year old double walled steel tank stored ULSD and biodiesel blends, including B20. The inner floor of the primary tank was perforated by small holes. The tank was replaced. Note ULSD was introduced 10 years ago.

Failure 2: an underground pipe failed on a B20 installation.  The pipe was a UL 971 flexible pipe that failed when the internal lining of the pipe delaminated.  “It looked like a long sheet of white plastic wrap when we investigated the blockage.”

Failure 3: Biomass blockage; A Government Agency reported slow flow at fuel island dispensers.  A service technician was dispatched to site and found 2 dispensers exhibiting flow rates at only 2-3 gpm, and 2 dispensers with no flow at all.  All dispenser internal filters were removed and replaced. The facility was down for two days.

More on the story.

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