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COLD FILTER BLOCKING TENDENCY

14/7/2017

IP618 proposed - Winter 2017/2018

Over several winters from 2012 the European technical committee responsible for diesel fuel quality received reports that a significant number of vehicles across Europe were experiencing performance problems in low temperatures. Similar events were also reported across Asia where vehicle operability issues were experienced in mountainous regions and the diesel fuel was exposed to low temperatures.

An industry wide task group lead by the UK Government Department of Transport investigated the cause in Europe and proposed possible links between base diesel quality, FAME composition, cold flow additives and oxidation stability effects.

Many modern diesels are blended with a percentage of biodiesel, also known as FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester). Under colder winter conditions, biodiesel can form solids which may cause problems inside a diesel vehicle's fuel system. In addition, diesel and biodiesel fuels also contain additives that can impact the fuel's cold filterability performance.

During 2015/2016 Seta developed the new CFBT instrument, and in parallel a new method was developed by the UK Energy Institute, this is now published as IP618 Cold Filter Blocking Tendency (CFBT). Critically this test measures a fuel's filterability at lower temperatures, typically 3c and -1c, and unlike previous low temperature tests IP618 is able to more closely predict vehicle fuel filter performance issues.

The new and unique Seta CFBT is a fully automated instrument designed to measure the Cold Filter Blocking Tendency of diesel and gas oils. The Seta CFBT predicts how diesel fuel may behave at low ambient temperatures by replicating real world cold filter conditions and testing the fuel's filter blocking tendency.

Those involved with testing diesel fuel within the UK, as well as suppliers shipping diesel to the UK will need to prepare for the introduction of IP617 this winter.

Across Asia installations of the new Seta CFBT apparatus are also assisting in qualifying the diesel performance at low temperatures.

Copyright Stanhope–Seta Limited 2014