Meeting ASTM methods D7371 and EN 14078 for biodiesel standards usually requires FTIR spectrometers, an expensive proposition considering the equipment would be placed on a loading dock. This article in Biodiesel Magazine says Wilks Enterprises has something that could help producers meet those ASTM standards with a fast, easy-to-use and inexpensive infrared method:
The InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer is a rugged, compact, specific-analysis fixed-filter infrared analyzer that is easy for fleet managers, distributors or regulators to use. It reads out directly in percent biodiesel and provides the user with the capability to measure the blend ratio on-site in 30 seconds. Its measurement range is zero to 100 percent with an accuracy of plus or minus 0.20 percent and can be operated by personnel having little or no knowledge of infrared analytical techniques.
The InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer is a spectral range analyzer that contains a linear variable filter and a detector array covering the wavelength range of 5.4-10.8 μm (1850-925 cm-1). This provides the capability to not only measure biodiesel in diesel, but also ethanol in gasoline or water in ethanol. It is a compact, portable instrument with a simplified PC interface that provides nontechnical personnel with the ability to make measurements on-site at the blending terminal, as well as the manufacturing facility or laboratory.
The company touts the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer and InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer as ideal workhorses, specifically designed for use in the field. This ASTM method now goes before the full committee for voting and should be approved and accepted before the end of this year.