The environmental and cost benefits of biodiesel fuel depend upon its properties. In turn, these properties are largely determined by the way in which this new energy source is produced and stored. Thus, producers, distributors and retailers can ensure the quality of their product by following the specifications presented by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
The guidelines, within the ASTM specifications, place limitations upon various properties. While space constraints make an exhaustive discussion of these properties impossible, this article will discuss the reasons why maximum and/or minimum limits are placed on four of the characteristics of the fuel.
ASTM classifications can be based on usage. ASTM A1 is used for railroad rails. ASTM A36 is used structurally for buildings. A510 refers to carbon wire rods. ASTM classifications can also be based on shape. A199 and A230 are classifications of tubes. A387 and A542 are steel plate. Steel rebar like that used in drainage ditch retaining walls is A615. ASTM classification A29 steel is used for hot wrought carbon alloy steel bars. A cold wrought carbon alloy bar is manufactured per A108. Steel T-rails are judged by specification A499. Thus steel rebar used in the concrete poured for drainage ditches has a very different designation than similar rebar used to hold back drainage ditch walls and the drain gate.
One important characteristic is the flash point. The flash point is the lowest temperature for which combustion may occur. If the flash point is too low, then inadvertent combustion may occur resulting in a safety hazard. According to some sources, one way of raising the flash point and reducing the risk of accidental ignition is to increase the percentage of biodiesel within a blend. However, a low flash point can also result from small amounts of methanol left over from the conversion process. Therefore, producers should always biodiesel fuel tests upon the flash point to ensure the safety of distributors, retailers and consumers.
Whilehow much water as well as sediment doesn’t offer almost any safety issues, your presence of those contaminant components offers undesirable physical significances. For example, water as well as sediment can certainly clog up filtration system, lessen ignition functionality and have an adverse result after your gasoline pump. Features, fixed through the ASTM, talk about how much water contained rather than for the water coexisting throughout large variety alongside the fuel within a tank. Nonetheless, the state of Michigan also places constraints on the amount of such bulk water within a storage tank.
The presence of water may also stimulate the growth of microbes. This is especially true for warmer temperatures. The microbes produce deposits that can add to the clogging effects of the water upon filters. This only further underscores the importance of testing for water.
The final property that will be discussed is the glycerin content. Glycerin is a natural byproduct of the production process. A large glycerin concentration in the final product may signal that the process used to transform oils and fats into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) was not completed. A high glycerin concentration may result in the clogging of filters and pumps as well as the contamination of injectors.
Performing biodiesel fuel tests upon the four characteristics discussed within this article, as well as other properties not discussed here, can help to increase the safety of consumers and increase engine performance while reducing emissions.
Another industry that relies on the ASTM E ratings are engineered plastics. When plastic sheeting needs to perform certain critical jobs, it is important that the plastic not have any flaws. For example, vapor barriers that are used under buildings and in crawl spaces must block water vapor from coming up into the building. ASTM E-
1745 Class A is a test for Vapor Retarders Used in Contact with Soil or Granular Fill Under Concrete Slabs. To see how ASTM E works in the plastic sheeting world, click here to see a plastic sheeting website that caters to specialized plastic sheeting liners.