Effectiveness of Cold Soak Filtration Test to Predict Precipitate Formation in Biodiesel
Biodiesel use is increasing around the world. Vehicle failures due to filter clogging issues have been reported in the field with use of biodiesel blended fuels in winter months. In certain instances, filter clogging was caused by precipitate formation above the cloud point of the fuel. Minor contaminants in biodiesel such as sterol glucosides and saturated monoglycerides are suspected to cause precipitation above the cloud point. ASTM has added a requirement to test biodiesel fuel for cold soak filtration test to prevent occurrences of this phenomenon of precipitation above the cloud point. This study focuses on understanding the correlation between cold soak filtration test results and presence of contaminants such as sterol glucosides and saturated monoglycerides in biodiesel fuels. Test samples were also subjected to thermal cycling at temperatures below the cloud point of fuel to co-correlate the cold soak filtration test results to visual observation of precipitate formation.