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Eurofins: UCOME, POME, UCO as feedstocks for bio bunker fuel present ‘unique’ challenges for shipping sector

19 Jan 2023

Usage of used cooking oil methyl ester (UCOME), palm oil mill effluent (POME) and used cooking oil (UCO) as alternative feedstocks in the petroleum industry is gaining popularity due to the growing demand for sustainable bunker fuel options.

However, these feedstocks present unique challenges that need to be addressed for effective utilisation as alternatives to traditional marine fuels, believes the General Manager of Singapore-based fuel testing laboratory Eurofins Mechem Pte Ltd.

“These challenges can be effectively addressed through comprehensive testing, certification, and documentation procedures, thus allowing for the effective utilisation of these feedstocks as alternatives to traditional marine fuel,” Bryan Quek tells Manifold Times

“Eurofins, as a leader in food & feed testing, can help petroleum blending companies navigate the challenges associated with the production and trade of sustainable cargo such as UCOME, POME, and UCO.”

According to Mr Quek, a main challenge in the usage of UCOME, POME and UCO in the petroleum industry is related to quality control.

These feedstocks, typically derived from a variety of sources including food waste, agricultural waste, and industrial waste, can lead to variability in their quality and purity. Variability of sources can affect the stability and performance of biofuels produced from these feedstocks, in turn leading to difficulties in meeting regulations and industry standards.

Another challenge is related to sustainability and compliance with industry standards. Due to the variability of feedstocks, it is critical to ensure sustainable production practises with compliance to regulatory standards such as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).

The compatibility of UCOME, POME and UCO – which chemical properties can be different from petroleum-based traditional feedstocks – can affect the stability and performance of biofuels resulting in incompatibility issues of blended product, in turn affecting vessel engine performance and durability.

“Eurofins can help petroleum blending companies address these compatibility issues by providing testing services to assess the compatibility of UCOME, POME and UCO feedstocks with traditional petroleum products,” states Mr Quek.

“For instance, Eurofins can offer testing services to determine the acidity, saponification number, and iodine value of the feedstocks. These tests can help to determine the chemical properties of feedstocks and ensure they are compatible with traditional petroleum products. 

“Furthermore, Eurofins can offer testing services to assess the thermal stability of biofuels produced with UCOME, POME and UCO feedstocks. These tests can help to determine the stability of biofuels under high temperatures and ensure they meet industry standards.”

“By providing testing, certification, and documentation support, Eurofins can help these companies produce high-quality, compatible and compliant bio-grade petroleum products,” highlights Mr Quek.

“Our expertise in food & feed testing can assist in ensuring the compatibility of sustainable feedstocks with traditional petroleum products and positively impacting the industry and the environment.”

 

Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 19 January, 2023

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