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What Is FAME? (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) | A Guide

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FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters)What Is FAME?

Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) is the chemical name for Biodiesel. This is manufactured to the EN 14214 specification.

The EN590 specification allows for up to 7% biodiesel to be blended into regular mineral diesel to reduce emissions.

EN590 is the road fuel you will typically buy for your car, van, truck or coach.

How Is FAME Made?

FAME is produced through a transesterification process involving oils and fats. Transesterification involves mixing the different fats and oils together with an alcohol and a catalyst to create a reaction.

FAME can be manufactured from waste cooking oils, animal fats, and vegetable oils. Oils such as rapeseed, palm, and sunflower are among the most common products used in the transesterification process.

Here is the scheme of the reaction process:

FAME Biodiesel

How Does FAME Help Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming. The biodiesel portion of road diesel is made from vegetable oil crops grown on farms.

As the plants grow, the crops absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – offsetting some of the carbon dioxide emissions which are produced when you drive your car.

In this way, road diesel creates fewer carbon dioxide emissions overall than ordinary diesel.

We reduce greenhouse gas emissions even further by offsetting all of our delivery mileage. This is by attaching carbon credits generated through investment in greenhouse gas reduction projects.

How Does FAME Content Cause Contamination in Diesel?

Biodiesel is a hygroscopic substance, which means that it attracts a lot more moisture than regular mineral diesel. The increase in water content intensifies the risk of bacteria and diesel bugs forming and spreading.

For some industries, it is imperative that their product is FAME free to avoid any issues, including standby power applications where the fuel may be stored for extended time periods.

How Can I Prevent Contamination from FAME?

It is important the fuel storage tank is regularly drained of water to prevent any contamination issues occurring.

Some of the most common signs of fuel contamination are:

  • Discolouration of fuel – it will turn hazy or cloudy
  • Problems with your engine or equipment after adding fuel
  • Blocked fuel filters
  • Possible corrosion of the fuel tank

If you notice any of these, then it is important that you get your fuel analysed as quickly as possible.

For more information about FAME content in biofuel, give us a call on 0845 271 7007 and one of our experts will answer all of your questions.

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