Dealing with FAME use in gasoil

With ‘numerous suppliers not able to guarantee their SFGO will be free of FAME’, FPS technical manager, Tony Brown, wants to ensure all are well-prepared
The FPS wants all distributors and users of SFGO to be aware of the impact that changes to the UK’s Renewable Fuel Transport Obligation (RTFO) target will have on non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) equipment.
“The FPS understands that numerous suppliers cannot guarantee their SFGO will be free of FAME,” explained Tony Brown, FPS technical manager.
“In April this year, the legally required percentage of fuels derived from renewable sources increased to 7.25%.  From 1 January 2019 this will rise to 8.5% and keep rising till it reaches 12.4% by 2032.
“All suppliers are obligated to meet the new targets but free on just how they reach each target. There are different ways to achieve this, including the addition of FAME to SFGO, so we want to warn all users of NRMM.
“It may be that road diesel, including FAME, will be marked and supplied for NRMM use – and it is important that business owners and farmers who use mobile machinery, are aware of what this could mean for them.
“The increased use of FAME in SFGO could lead to issues and challenges with agricultural equipment including tractors, forestry equipment, construction machinery, forklift trucks, portable generators, inland waterway vessels, and recreational craft.
“FAME is corrosive to certain materials such as rubber and can cause filters to clog and increase the risk of bacterial growth as well as instability levels of the fuel. The good news is there are steps which farmers and businesses can take to prepare for the change.
“Before taking delivery of any biofuel, give the tank a specialist clean or check on the tank immediately after. Continue to carry out regular tank checks and take remedial action if you notice any water, dirt, mould or growth. It’s worth examining filters, pipework and seals on a regular basis, and to replace filters after every 2 or 3 deliveries anyway.
“Most NRMM engines are thankfully compatible with fuel containing FAME in the proportion found in fuel, but farmers and businesses who own older equipment may need to make modifications such as the inclusion of a drain point in the tank to remove any water build-up.
“As water is a big problem for SFGO containing FAME, it’s recommended to limit storage time of FAME blended fuels, and to keep tanks topped up to reduce air which can draw moisture,” added Tony.