One of the less desired characteristics of biodiesel produced from natural and renewable substances is that it is more readily susceptible to oxidative degradation than petroleum diesel. Degradation of biodiesel leads to the formation of lower molecular weight acids, peroxides and gums that can result in unwanted changes in both the properties and performance of biodiesel. These impurities can result in injector fouling, filter plugging and excess engine deposits - all problems which have been exploited by biodiesel's critics.

Biodiesel fuel quality standards, such as the U.S. ASTM D6751 and the European Standard DIN EN 14214, call for biodiesel to maintain its quality during storage, handling and use. To combat oxidation problems and assist in biodiesel producers maintaining their fuel quality, Ciba Specialty Chemicals has introduced Ciba IRGASTAB BD 100, which is an additive designed to protect against degradation and oxidation and help extend the storage life of biodiesel.

Ciba advertises that IRGASTAB BD 100, a 100 percent active liquid stabiliser, offers excellent oxidative stability and added metal protection with a variety of biodiesel feedstocks such as those based on rapeseed, recycled cooking oil, palm, soy and jatropha.

Analysis: Biodiesel typically can not be stored for more than six months and ideally should be used as soon as possible after manufacture. For a majority of situations, this works fine but being able to guarantee the fuel's stability in transport and storage has a lot of benefits. Ciba's success here will come down to pure economics I'm guessing - if the price is right, they should have a popular new product on their hands.

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[Source: Ciba via Renewable Energy Access]

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