TESTS

Our focus for testing in the biofuel market is on biodiesel. From feedstock to finished fuel, we offer all of the testing analysis you need. Any of these tests can be bundled together into a customized test panel that works for you.

Available Tests:

For more information on each individual test we offer, please read below.

Acid Number D 664 The acid number value is determined by a potentiometric titration. This value helps the user determine the amount of acid compounds that are present in the fuel. As biodiesel begins to decompose, acidic compounds are produced. As the fuel becomes more acidic, it can cause corrosion and fuel system deposits in the engine.

 

Ash D 482 In this test the fuel is ignited and allowed to burn until only ash is left. The ash is then heated in a 775°C furnace. The mass of the residual material is determined and the percent of the original is calculated. Ash can be the result of metallic compound contamination or other compounds such as dirt or rust.

 

Biodiesel Content D 7371 This test determined the percent compositions of diesel/biodiesel blends.

 

Calcium and Magnesium, Combined EN 14538 The amount of calcium and magnesium in a sample is determined by optical emission spectral analysis with inductively coupled plasma (ICP OES). Calcium and magnesium, in the form of abrasive solids or metallic soaps, can lead to engine wear, filter clogging, and engine deposits.

 

Carbon Residue D 4530 The sample is heated to 500°C in a nitrogen-filled chamber at a controlled rate to ensure that the sample cokes and does not combust. The formed volatile compounds are flushed from the chamber by nitrogen, and the mass of the remaining coke is determined. This test approximates the formation of engine carbon deposits by the fuel.

 

Cetane Number D 613 The cetane number is a measure of the ignition quality of the fuel. It is determined by running fuel in a specific engine with prescribed operating conditions.

 

Cloud Point D 5773 The cloud point of a fuel is the temperature at which a cloud or haze appears when the fuel is cooled at prescribed test conditions. The cloud point can give the user an idea of cold weather operability.

 

Cold Soak Filterability D 7501 In this test, a sample is chilled for 16 hours and then brought back to room temperature for either 2 or 4 hours. After the sample is at room temperature for the prescribed time, it is filtered. This test is intended to determine cold weather performance.

 

Conductivity D 2624 This test is used to determine the conductivity of biodiesel blends from B0 – B5.

 

Copper Strip Corrosion D 130 This test is intended to determine the possibility of corrosion of brass or copper engine parts. Fuels that are acidic or have sulfur-containing compounds may tarnish copper.

 

Diglyceride Content D 6584 Through the process of transesterification, triglyceride molecules are converted into fatty acid methyl esters and glycerin. An intermediate step in this process converts the triglyceride molecule into a diglyceride molecule. A high concentration of diglyceride molecules indicates an incomplete reaction and may cause engine deposits.

 

Distillation Temperature D 1160 The fuel sample is heated under vacuum to a temperature at which it boils. The vapor is then condensed. The fuel specifications establish an upper limit for the temperature at which 90% of the sample is distilled and recovered.

 

Ester Content EN 14103 This is a European method which determines the amount of the fuel sample that is a fatty acid ester.

 

Flash Point (closed cup) D 93 A substance’s flash point is the temperature at which the headspace is flammable. This test is used to determine if the methanol has been sufficiently removed in the biodiesel purification process.

 

Free & Total Glycerin D 6584 Free glycerin is the amount of actual glycerin (a by-product of transesterification) contained in the fuel. Total glycerin is a combination of the amount of free glycerin and glycerin related molecules (monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides). This test evaluates the glycerin content of the fuel from all sources, free or bound.

 

Free Fatty Acid AOCS Ca 5a-40 This is a test done on feedstock oil. It gives a good idea of how degraded the oil is. As a triglyceride oil degrades, fatty acid chains break off of the glycerin backbone. Higher levels of free fatty acids in biodiesel feedstock can lead to soap formation and yield reduction.

 

Insoluble Impurities AOCS Ca 3a-46 This test is often grouped together with Moisture & Volatiles and Unsaponifiable matter to form the MIU test which is performed on feedstock oil. This portion of the MIU test tells the amount of undissolved solids contained by the feedstock oil.

 

Iodine Value EN 14111 This test is used to determine the level of unsaturation of the fuel. As the number of unsaturated bonds in the ester chain increases, so does the iodine value.

 

Karl Fischer Water D 6304 This test is used to determine the amount of water contained in a sample. Water can lead to operability and handling issues for biodiesel. Water in feedstock oil can lead to poor reactions and soap formation.

 

Kinematic Viscosity D 445 The kinematic viscosity of biodiesel and blends is determined by the time it takes for a sample to flow by gravity through a calibrated capillary tube. The viscosity is calculated by multiplying the time, in seconds, by a tube-specific constant. It is critical to have proper fuel viscosity to ensure optimal fuel performance.

 

Linolenic Acid EN 14103 Linolenic acid is a fatty acid with 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds. The European specification for biodiesel limits the amount of linolenic acid that a biodiesel can contain.

 

Lubricity D 6079 This test is part of the B6 – B20 specification. It uses a High-Frequency Reciprocating Rig in the presence of the sample to produce a wear scar. The size of this scar is measured. The addition of biodiesel to ultra low sulfur diesel can greatly improve the lubricity of the fuel.

 

Methanol Content EN 14110 This test method uses gas chromatography to determine the methanol content of a sample. If not properly removed, a small amount of methanol can make the biodiesel sample flammable.

 

Moisture & Volitiles AOCS Ca 2f-93 This test is often grouped together with Insoluble Impurities and Unsaponifiable matter to form the MIU test which is performed on feedstock oil. This portion of the MIU test tells how much water and volatile compounds are contained in the feedstock oil.

 

Monoglyceride Content D 6584 Through the process of transesterification, triglyceride molecules are converted into fatty acid methyl esters and glycerin. During an intermediate step in this process, monoglyceride molecules are formed. A high concentration of monoglyceride molecules can show an incomplete reaction and may cause engine deposits.

 

Oxidation Stability EN 14112 Biodiesel is naturally biodegradable. This fact is good for the environment but poor for the shelf-life of the fuel. This test forces the fuel to degrade by heating and oxygenating the sample in a shorter period of time. A fuel’s oxidation stability value can be greatly improved with the use of additives.

 

Phosphorus Content D 4951 The amount of phosphorus in a sample is determined by optical emission spectral analysis with inductively coupled plasma (ICP OES). High concentrations of phosphorus may damage catalytic converters.

 

Ramsbottom Carbon Residue D 524 To perform this test, you must first perform the distillation procedure. The 10% bottoms of the distillation are then heated to 500°C in a nitrogen-filled chamber at a controlled rate to ensure that the sample cokes and does not combust. The formed volatile compounds are flushed from the chamber by nitrogen. The mass of the remaining coke is then determined.

 

Relative Density (Specific Gravity) D 1298 The relative density of a sample is determined with the use of a hydrometer. Biodiesel has a typical relative density of 0.88.

 

Simulated Distillation D 2887 This gas chromatography method is used to mimic the distillation test.

 

Soap Content AOCS Cc 17-95 This titration method determines the amount of residual soap in a biodiesel sample. Soap is formed in a reaction where oil, water, and hydroxide catalyst are present. The presence of soap during biodiesel production can lead to poor yields.

 

Sodium and Potassium, Combined EN 14538 The presence of sodium or potassium in a biodiesel sample can be attributed to unremoved soaps or catalysts and is determined by optical emission spectral analysis with inductively coupled plasma (ICP OES).

 

Sulfated Ash D 874 This test is used to determine the presence of abrasive solids, soluble metallic soaps, or unremoved catalysts. This test differs from the Ash test by the addition of sulfuric acid before ash is formed.

 

Sulfur D 5453 The amount of sulfur in fuel has been limited due to its effect on the environment and catalytic converters. Most biodiesel contains very little sulfur.

 

Total Contamination EN 12662 Total contamination is a test by which a sample of fuel is filtered and the mass of material remaining on the filter is determined. A high total contamination content in fuel can lead to filter plugging.

 

Triglyceride Content D 6584 The triglyceride content of biodiesel is determined by gas chromatography. A high triglyceride content can lead to incomplete combustion and engine deposits. A high level of triglycerides shows that the transesterification reaction was not complete.

 

Unsaponifiable Matter AOCS Ca 6b-53 This test is often grouped together with Moisture & Volatiles and Insoluble Impurities to form the MIU test which is performed on feedstock oil. This portion of the MIU test determines the amount of the feedstock oil that cannot be converted into biodiesel.

Visual Appearance D 4176 This test is used to determine the overall cleanliness of the fuel and is also known as the workmanship test. At high concentrations many contaminants such as water, sediment, and soaps are visible with this test.

 

Water and Sediment D 2709 A sample is centrifuged in a specific centrifuge tube to determine the presence of free water or sediment. Large amounts of either free water or sediment can lead to handling issues, filter plugging, and microbial growth.