BMW Group Malaysia has issued a statement in response to Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Plantations Industries and Commodities’ plan on implementing the use of B10 biodiesel by October 2015, which he revealed today at the 8th International Planters Conference 2015. In the statement, BMW Malaysia warns of the technical challenges in using fuel that features a 10 per cent blend of palm-based methyl ester, with current conventional diesel.
According to BMW’s worldwide tests on B10 biodiesel, the results of using such a high blend of biodiesel is rather alarming as the tests on vehicles has revealed that Fatty-Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), which boils at high temperatures can contaminate the engine’s lubricants, resulting in thinning of the motor oil as it does not evaporate when the engine runs at high temperatures. This in turn leads to the formation of oil sludge, reduced lubricity with the risk of severe engine damage.
Furthermore, testing has also revealed that the use of B10 biodiesel blend has resulted in the formation of deposit films at the injectors due to the lack of compatibility of additives with FAME. Polymer linings at the injector results in the invariance of the injection, as well as reduces the stability of the engine’s idling cycle, thus worsening emissions and engine acoustics.
B10 biodiesel also results in higher levels of water in the fuel, which leads to corrosion of the components which transports the fuel and promotes oxidation in the tank, which in turn can result in a blocked fuel filter. BMW maintains that their engines, are well suited to run on the current B7 level of biodiesel blends. And as we have revealed earlier, many leading automotive players are warning against the use of biodiesel blends higher than the current B7 blend, due to the ill effects the fuel can have on the well-being of their powertrains.
To that end, BMW, who has been at the forefront of championing the use of diesel technology in Malaysia, urges the Ministry of Plantations Industries and Commodities to take into account the feedback and opinion of the Malaysian automotive industry before implementing the use of B10 biodiesel come October.