Study: biodiesel safe for underground tanks

By | April 15, 2008
A new study by the Steel Tank Institute confirms that biodiesel and biodiesel blends are safe for use in underground steel storage tanks. The study, presented in March at the 20th Annual National Tanks Conference and Expo in Atlanta, reports that low carbon steel typically used for underground storage tanks has excellent corrosion resistance to biodiesel and biodiesel blends.

"In most cases, the amount of surface rusting was slightly higher in 100 percent ultra low sulfur diesel than in biodiesel or biodiesel blends," said Wayne Geyer of the Steel Tank Institute. Corrosion rates for biodiesel and biodiesel blends were so low that they could not be measured.

The findings of the biodiesel and steel compatibility study, which was co-sponsored by the National Oilheat Research Alliance and the National Biodiesel Board, were consistent with years of in-field use.

"In nearly a decade of experience covering hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel being used, we have not experienced any problems with the compatibility of biodiesel blends in underground storage tanks," said Don Scott, a technical engineer with the NBB. "Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable, and we are committed to promoting and encouraging environmentally safe storage and handling procedures." Scott presented at the conference on behalf of the NBB.

The conference was produced by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission.
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