Biofuels are becoming increasingly important worldwide, not only to replace expensive imported crude oil, but also to create jobs and improve the security of food supplies. The government's current strategy envisions 2% of national petrol and diesel usage coming from biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel by 2013, thereby creating an estimated 25 000 jobs.
While bioethanol can be produced most economically from large sugar cane plantations, there is considerable scope for producing biodiesel from small producers; if the quality of this biodiesel can be assured.
The recent publication of SANS 833 (full title: Biodiesel production - Quality management - Producer requirements) is an important step towards helping create a local biodiesel industry, as it helps producers and suppliers - particularly those producing small batches of biodiesel - to manage their quality requirements in a more cost effective way.
John Fitton, a technical specialist closely involved in preparing SANS 833, comments on the standard as follows:
Why was the standard written? "Quality standards for fuel are important to ensure that the products are fit for purpose, for the desired market. One aspect of this is the biodiesel market, which is a relatively young industry, especially in South Africa.
" SANS 1935 was first published in 2004. This standard, based on the European standard, clearly stated the requirements for automotive biodiesel . However, this standard is rather costly to test against, as the equipment needed for this is expensive to procure and complex to operate. Further, as many of the biodiesel producers are relatively small batch producers, they cannot afford to conduct the required testing and certification.
"In order to make this easier, this quality management standard - SANS 833 -has been published to allow for frequency testing of certain aspects of the biodiesel and other quality management requirements.
What is the importance for local industry? "If followed correctly, SANS 833 will help the local industry to ensure the quality of the biodiesel, from manufacture to sale, while also reducing the associated complexity and costs.
Who will need to use the standard? "All biodiesel manufactures, who have constant feedstock. End users of the biodiesel and biodiesel blends will also be able to use the standard to ensure that the product that they are receiving from the manufacturer / distributor is fit for purpose.
Other points: "A standard is only as good as how it is implemented or enforced. It is important that this standard is followed and applied by the biodiesel sector to ensure that the product is fit for purpose, and that the vehicle manufacturers' warrantee are not impacted", Fitton concluded.
For further information, please contact:
To purchase the standards:
Standards Sales at SABS
Telephone 012 428 -6883
Fax 012 428-6928
The standard can also be downloaded directly from our secure standards westore (http://www.sabs.co.za/index.php?page=standardspurchase) on entry of a credit card number.
Information on these standards:
John Fitton, SC 1018A, Fuels
Tel 011 792-0618