Biodiesel can impact lubricant perfomance - Ipiranga

25 February 2011 18:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Biodiesel fuel can affect lubricant performance, potentially affecting service conditions and drain intervals of vehicles, Brazil's Ipiranga said on Friday.

Ipiranga - Brazil's third largest lubricants producer - has encountered challenges with biodiesel because of the current national mandate to use 5% biodiesel (B5) in the country's diesel pool.

"There is biodiesel dilution into the fuel that then enters the crankcase,"  said Sergio Luiz Viscardi of Ipiranga's lube division, speaking on the sidelines of the 15th ICIS World Base Oils and Lubricants Conference.

The dilution of the biodiesel into the crankcase can lead to as much as a 15–20% reduction in the drain interval, according to some Brazilian original equipment manufacturers who are adding a FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) biodiesel B5 blendstock to the diesel fuel.

Viscardi acknowledged biodiesel's advantages; it lowers emission levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and noxious sulphur compounds while conferring increased lubricity to the diesel fuel product.

"There is, however, oxidation in the lubricant from the presence of the biodiesel," he said.

"It is complex because of the mixture. There is need for more analysis and perhaps the mono-glyceride specification needs to change," Viscardi added.

Ipiranga will continue its research on the biofuel as Brazil seeks to move to higher biodiesel blends, up to B20, in the future.

The ICIS World Base Oils and Lubricants Conference began on Thursday and runs through Friday.

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By: Judith Taylor
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