All of the regular motor fuel imported into this country carries a certificate of quality and even in spite of this, problems sometimes do occur, and by the time it reaches its point of sale, the fuel may not in fact meet the European Specifications in all the required parameters. Biofuels are currently being produced in sheds and farmyard barns throughout the country, in most cases without any real quality procedures or checks; the untested product is then sold to oil distributors or directly to the end user. Although there are European standards in place to which the fuel should adhere to, there is currently no governing body monitoring the production or quality of the fuel. It truly is a case of Caveat Emptor or Buyer Beware.

Practical quality control in the emerging liquid biofuel market.

No laboratory in Ireland or the UK can perform all the tests on biofuel – even the larger UK laboratories subcontract some of the tests to the continent. Independent Laboratory, as Ireland’s leading oil analysis centre, will try and meet the quality testing requirements of the small and large biofuel producers, distributors and consumers. As with all our testing every client’s results are stored and catalogued so that over time a detailed database can be compiled for each client; allowing us to spot trends or regular anomalies and offer advice on how to solve certain problems. Regular testing will assuage users’ fears of this new product and increase their willingness to use biofuels in the future.

We recommend three different levels of testing to judge the quality of the fuel.

  1. Quick Batch Analysis
    Recommended when good housekeeping and regular testing is already in place. Performed on individual batches to ensure continued quality.
  2. Medium Range Batch Analysis
    This will cover the important tests that will reflect the performance of the fuel in most conditions.
  3. Full Range as per European Standards
    This should be carried out once or twice a year; or when changing supplier. (Some of the tests would currently need to be subcontracted to European laboratories).