‘No fuel-related breakdown during B10 Biodiesel test’

DBKL is considering extending the use of B10 Biodiesel to its entire fleet of 2,040 vehicles.

KUCHING: In just a little over three-and-a-half-years, the yet to be introduced B10 Biodiesel has already undergone more than three million kilometres of independent testing by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) without a single case of fuel-related breakdown being experienced.

“We did encounter a single breakdown, but that was due to a flat tyre,” said Muhammad Alif Muhammad Noor, mechanical engineer at DBKL’s Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Department.

DBKL was among the first third party consumers of B10 Biodiesel although the fuel is not yet available commercially. This was made possible through collaboration with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB).

Testing commenced in January 2014 involving 50 vehicles of various sizes and engine capacity, from pick-up trucks and five-tonne lorries to vans, heavy machinery and excavators.

These vehicles obtain their supply of B10 Biodiesel via two 16,000-litre skid tanks at DBKL. Most of these vehicles have accumulated an average mileage of 60,000 to 70,000km, with one of its five-tonne lorries recording more than 200,000km. The vehicles in service range from three years to 15 years in age, and are Euro 2 and Euro 3 compliant.

Two specific vehicles, a Nissan Navara pick-up truck and a Nissan five-tonne lorry, are due for a more detailed inspection involving an engine teardown which is expected to be jointly conducted by MPOB, Nissan Japan and the local franchise holder for Nissan in Malaysia, Tan Chong Motor Holdings.

“The use of B10 Biodiesel is in line with DBKL’s very own policy of creating a greener city. What is most obvious is that B10 Biodiesel has reduced exhaust emissions and lower toxicity levels compared to petroleum-based diesel,” said Muhammad Alif, adding that DBKL is seriously considering extending the use of B10 Biodiesel to its entire fleet of 2,040 vehicles.

Notably, in a Department of Environment (DOE) test which stipulates that vehicles tested under the free acceleration test with a smoke meter shall not exceed 50 Hartridge Smoke Unit (HSU), the DBKL vehicles using B10 Biodiesel registered a HSU of between 2.7 and 2.8.

“The use of B10 Biodiesel also registered minimal fuel savings. We normally consume about 11 litres per hour, but with B10 Biodiesel that consumption was reduced to 10 litres per hour,” said Hamdan Main, the driver of DBKL’s Hitachi excavator.

“What is visibly obvious is the reduced smoke emissions when the machine is in use.”

For five-tonne lorry driver Rahman Ismail, the difference in power between B10 Biodiesel and the current grade of commercially available diesel is negligible. He averages between 70 and 80km a day and is primarily responsible for ferrying heavy loads of tree trimmings.

The same sentiment was shared by Ballu Subayan, 36, who drives DBKL’s general workers in the Nissan Navara pick-up truck daily.

B10 Biodiesel which is a blend of 10 per cent palm methyl ester and 90 per cent fossil fuel, and when launched, underlines Malaysia’s commitment towards reducing its carbon footprint and environmental pollution.

The fuel grade will replace the current B7 Biodiesel. It is not only cleaner but superlatively more beneficial. B10 Biodiesel has already undergone comprehensive testing and is safe to be used by all diesel engines.

It has been validated by comprehensive bench and long-term field testing domestically; adherence to international biodiesel blend standards; and backed by experiences, evaluations and millions of problem-free genuine on-the-road kilometres recorded by various makes and models of vehicles that are currently in operation in countries with the B10 or higher biodiesel mandates.

The introduction of B10 and B7 for the transport and industrial sectors is estimated to remove emissions equivalent to 600,000 cars on the road.

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