ULSD and lubricity

Single Tank WVO systems and blending SVO WVO to thin it.

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ULSD and lubricity

Postby John Galt » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:22 pm

ASTM D975-04c Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils
has been adopted by all States.

Similar standards exist in Canada and Europe.


Q18. Because the process of removing sulphur from diesel tends to reduce lubricity, what is being done to adjust for this problem?

A: Lubricity is a measure of the fuel's ability to protect the various parts of the engine's fuel injection system from excessive wear. The processing required to reduce sulphur to 15 ppm also tends to remove naturally occurring lubricity agents in diesel fuel. To manage this change, the Canadian General Standards Board has a lubricity specification defined in CAN/CGSB-3.517 for all diesel fuel that has been in effect for many years (in the U.S. the equivalent standard is ASTM D975 as issued by ASTM International). If a fuel lacks sufficient lubricity, suppliers add lubricity additives to ULSD, or to the RSD, to ensure that it meets the required lubricity specification when dispensed at the retail pump. This approach has been used successfully in Europe since the late 1990s.
Q19. How do I know that the lubricity additive works? Is it expected to meet certain standards for effectiveness? If so, what are they?

A: All diesel fuel, including ULSD, needs to meet the lubricity specifications defined in the Canadian General Standards Board CAN/CGSB-3.517. The lubricity specification can be met based on any one of five test methods, including the High Frequency Reciprocating Rig (HFRR) test (D 6079) which requires a wear scar no larger than 460 microns (which is more stringent than the ASTM D975 specification of 520 microns).

That's not to say that some cheap retailers may sell non spec. fuel, as in the past.
There are, of course, penalties for selling non spec fuel which vary from state to state. That problem is rare in Canada and Alaska

5% VO or biodiesel provides any additional lubricity one might require in a diesel fuel.
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Postby SunWizard » Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:58 pm

There are similar standards in the US. However random testing has shown that many samples don't meet the lubricity standards. See this thread for lots of research on this topic:

They showed that even 1% B100 or VO increased the lubricity more than enough.
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