Useful Info

TESTING BIODIESEL

There are a few basic in-house tests that can be performed during the production process.

  • Conversion Test: perform a 27/3 also called Jan Warnqvist test
  • Wash test: perform a 50/50 test with distilled water
  • Soap test perform a soap test using bromophenol blue
  • Completion test: perform a read test using news print at 18 degrees C
  • Water test check the water content using the Sandy Brae water test kit

To perform a more detailed test of the finished product a scientific laboratory is required which can test for the following:

  • Water
  • Density
  • Viscosity
  • Acid value
  • Flash point
  • Free Glycerol
  • Total Glycerol

WARRANTIES

All fuel systems in all diesel engines imported, whether assembled or manufactured locally in South Africa are warranted for use with a B5 or 5% biodiesel, provided that the biodiesel conforms to the biodiesel specification SANS 1935.

Some Manufacturers warrant higher blends of biodiesel such as Caterpillar, Scania, Cummings, Freightliner, Perkins, Mack, Ford, Volvo trucks, Hino trucks, Isuzu trucks and tractors John Deere, New Holland, Same, Case. For details and specifics on the model, contact Green-Diesel or your local retailer. NB most vehicle retailers in South Africa do not have any knowledge of their companies policy on the use of biodiesel.

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) supports the use of specification biodiesel.

ENGINE PERFORMANCE

Biodiesel blends e.g. B20, perform very similar to low sulphur diesel (50ppm) and ultra low sulphur diesel (10ppm) in terms of power, torque, and fuel consumption.

Some of our customers are experiencing better fuel consumption with biodiesel than they experienced with regular diesel.

LICENSING in SOUTH AFRICA

Biodiesel producers must register with SARS and apply for either a Commercial or Non-commercial producers licence.

A non-commercial licence is for small producers. The limitation on production is 300 000 litres of biodiesel per annum. The advantage of this licence is that producers do not pay the Fuel Levy and Road Accident Fund Levy.

A commercial licence is for industrial size producers. There is no limitation on production but the producer must pay 50% of the Fuel Levy and 100% of the Road Accident Fund Levy.

Commercial producers must also apply to the Department of Energy for a Manufacturing Licence and a Wholesale Licence.

BIODIESEL SPECIFICATION

SANS 1935 is the South African Standard for biodiesel. It is a set of tests and set values that biodiesel must achieve to be deemed fit for use. These tests examine the physical and chemical properties of the fuel sample. The tests use international test procedures to ensure the following:

  • A complete reaction has taken place
  • The glycerine (free and bonded) has been removed to acceptable levels
  • The catalyst used in reaction has been removed
  • The methanol used in reaction has been removed
  • There is an absence of free fatty acids (FFA’s)
  • Any residual water has been removed

For the full specification go to the SABS website.