Biodiesel Usage in Heavy Duty Applications and Lubricant Solutions
In Asia, increasing oil prices coupled with heavy reliance on imports and environmental emission concerns have accelerated the need for the use of renewable energy sources such as biodiesel in place of mineral diesel oil. Countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc., have been increasing the use of biodiesel significantly over the last five years, ranging from a baseline of 10% blend in diesel up to 30%. As Thailand and other countries progress to Euro V and Euro VI in the next three to five years, there are concerns about the impact on durability, reliability, and emissions compliance with the introduction of higher levels of biodiesel in commercial diesel fuel. Palm oil is the major feedstock for producing biodiesel in Southeast Asia.
Oronite’s study has shown that when biodiesel is used at 20% and upwards, there is an impact on the performance of the engine oil in the areas of oxidation, viscosity increase, corrosive wear, etc. Accumulation of biodiesel from fuel dilution in engine oil has negative effects on the engine oil that may result in compromising drain Interval.
Regarding specifications for biodiesel usage, some ACEA tests (and European OEM tests) use biodiesel blends already. One example is the ACEA bench test CEC L-109, that assesses oxidation and viscosity control with biodiesel. CEC L-109 is the screener for most heavy duty formulations. Another test is HTCBT in the presence of biodiesel, which is able to discriminate against the effects of biodiesel addition. These tests have been designed to highlight the critical requirements for compatibility with biodiesel.
To meet biodiesel (20-30% blends) needs, fully formulated additives in combination with the right base oils and viscosity modifiers (VMs) are required. This should be supported by relevant test data to demonstrate capability to use and prove no harm performance. Oronite’s test work and data generated indicate that fully formulated diesel engine oils with appropriate API performance level can enable the use of 20-30% biodiesel blends in petroleum diesel fuel.
In this paper, we will share the work done by Oronite so far on the diesel engine oil formulations with test data that demonstrate compatibility with 20-30% biodiesel blends. This study supports our efforts for creating solutions for lower carbon and sustainable energy use.