Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fuel Crisis

Every member that filled up on 10/13/2007 has been affected by bad fuel performance. Ilya Goldberg reported his first problem occurred the week before the meeting (week of December 1st), many weeks after filling up with questionable fuel. Ilya used an off the shelf 'Gel Melter' to unplug his fuel filter-he washed the fuel filter with it and was able to drive home.
A word of caution to all members that filled up the weekend of 10/13- if you have not run your tank down, close to empty, you may have a very high gel point plug waiting to leave your tank and plug up your fuel filter. Once warm weather hits (somewhere in the 70's) the plug should melt. This fuel is fine for your engine, it just hardens at ridiculously high temperatures (in the 50's). Keeping your tank above 1/'4 full should avoid any problems this winter.

The coop has required a certificate of ASTM6751 specification for each batch of fuel we have sold since November.
We have tested for water, glycerol, proper pH, as well.

The fleet of public buses in Harrisburg, PA has been plagued by similar fuel issues, using a B5 blend. Apparently the high gel point fuel can be traced to B100 made from palm oil and barged into the Baltimore port. B100 from palm oil has a cloud point of 11C (degrees centigrade) or higher and will not be accepted as a source by the coop. We will ensure smooth running by requiring gel point below 4C.

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