The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) wants to check the quality of South Africa’s biodiesel. However, this task will be futile without the participation of biodiesel producers. SABS has therefore called on both commercial and private producers to participate in the initiative. Samples will be analysed at no cost to the suppliers, who will receive a confidential report enabling them to make informed decisions on product conformity and carry out the required adjustments.
A general report on the current overall quality of biodiesel will be made available to interested parties. Dr Zen Fourie, general manager of strategy of the SABS, said biofuel must gain market acceptance and it was therefore vitally important that the final product and its quality management systems met specific standards and requirements.
The SABS has already published biofuel standards, which are referred to in legislation regulating petroleum products. he decision to investigate the quality of SA’s biofuel was made after an SABS survey showed a keen interest from organisations. At present, nine South African producers that could be considered “commercial” have the necessary equipment to manufacture a total of more than 20 000ℓ of biodiesel per month, but only four are currently involved in limited production. he high cost of vegetable oils is affecting the viability of the industry, and only those producers with access to used or polluted oil can run viable operations. Currently only four of the approximately 11 non-commercial producers are manufacturing biodiesel, which is for their own use.
Soya, sunflower, canola, palm and used oils will be used in this survey. he SABS wants to launch the project during 2007, provided adequate volumes of biodiesel are produced and sufficient interest exists, Fourie said.
Producers interested in participating in the survey can e-mail their details to Marisa Stone at [email protected], or phone her on (012) 428-6186. Alternatively they can e-mail Ronnie Rikhotso at [email protected] or phone him on (012) 428 6656. – Staff reporter