Industry Takes a Significant Step Forward in Authorising New Levels of FAME in JET A and JET A1

April 17, 2014

The supply of biodiesel fuels to meet European, US and other international fuel markets to meet legislative requirements has resulted in “bio fuels” containing a component called FAME being commonly distributed by road tankers, ship’s cargo tanks and along multiproduct fuel pipelines.

A three-year global programme, led by the Energy Institute, has established a safety limit of the amount of 100mg/kg (100ppm) FAME which can be present in a jet fuel and would not compromise aircraft operation or safety.

Seta-Analytics has supported this EI programme for trace FAME measurement for jet fuel testing with the development of leading edge patented technology to produce the Seta-Analytics “FIJI” spectroscopic analyser. It has been developed to provide industry with a fast, easy to use, precise measurement instrument which does not require gas supplies, has a portability capability, and can be set up and run by non skilled technicians, without any need for pre sample preparation.

The FIJI is the ideal instrument for laboratory or “at-field/in-field use” to ensure quality assurance confidence to check jet fuel, or can be used as a trouble shooting tool where there is concern of potential jet fuel FAME contamination, whether at a fuel terminal, airport or close “at wing”. Just 20 minutes for a determination.

FIJI has been extensively tested by global jet fuel suppliers, who have participated in the extensive EI test method precision development programme using a global fuel matrix deliberately contaminated with FAME at known concentrations. The FIJI instrument and test method passed this precision programme with flying colours, to detect FAME materials, including trace levels of low carbon esters such as coconut, resulting in the publication of International test methods IP 583 & ASTM 7797 for reference in global jet fuels specifications.

The Seta-Analytics FIJI Analyser is a world class engineered instrument, offering trace level FAME measurement capability with a high degree of measurement precision. This was recognised in the EI programme with the best test method reproducibility at levels which are typically expected in a distribution system. It is also accepted that it is the only instrument with the capability of screening for all FAME types, including low carbon esters such as coconut.

FIJI is truly the 1st line of defence to check for FAME in jet fuel contamination when testing Jet A and Jet A-1 made to the specifications of ASTM 1655 or DEF STAN 91-91.