FAME Update

As you may know already, tough new biofuel targets came into force from 15th April 2018.

These involved changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), compelling fuel suppliers to make sure the mix is at least 12.4% biofuel by 2032. This means we can no longer guarantee your fuel will be FAME-free and are making you aware that Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) are now likely to be in our Gas Oil, sometimes known as Sulphur Free Gas Oil (SFGO). 

More about FAME

FAME is a powerful solvent, with good detergency properties. Unlike diesel, FAME is ‘hydroscopic’ which means it attracts and holds onto water.

How FAME might affect your fuel tank and farm machinery

The main issues to be aware of include:

  • Material incompatibility (many common rubbers, plastics and surface coatings will degrade from contact with fuels containing FAME).
  • Residual deposits causing clogged filters.
  • Water uptake - with enhanced potential for mould, bacteria and algae growth.
  • Fuel stability (may degrade over time by oxidation and hydrolysis).
  • Cold flow waxing and precipitation problems.

Advice on how to avoid FAME contamination

Ideally, undertake a full, professional clean of your tank ahead of the first delivery of a bio blend.

At the very least, we recommend doing an immediate tank inspection, checking its condition and suitability. This should include the construction material, pipework and seals. Any obvious deficiency or damage must be remedied. 

  • Subsequently check the tanks often and have a regular maintenance programme.
  • Keep the fuel clean and dry and top-up the tank to reduce air, which can draw moisture.
  • If you find sediment or bacterial growth seek professional help. Home remedies such as fungicides or microbiological killers may do more harm in the long run. Those that do work may  kill the bacteria but the dead growth on the bottom of the tank can also build up and cause issue.

Test your tank for WATER or ask us

We recommend that you test your tank for water prior to delivery.

Our Kettlewell Fuels' drivers can dip your tank to test at the point of delivery. We will confirm the result by leaving you a note. However, the delivery will still be made. 

What is FAME?

Biodiesel is a diesel replacement fuel, which in the UK is manufactured from mostly recycled cooking oils but may also be made of a variety of blends of renewable and recyclable material including tallow (animal) fats and plant oils.

The biodiesel manufacturing process converts these oils and fats into long chain molecules. These molecules are also referred to as Fatty Acid Methyl Esters and are more commonly referred to as ‘FAME’. FAME has been blended into UK road fuel since 2004 in levels up to 7%.

FAME is a powerful solvent, with good detergency properties – it is effectively a paint stripper! Unlike diesel, FAME is ‘hydroscopic’, which means it attracts and holds onto water.

Why has FAME been introduced?

The British Standard for non-road diesel (known as BS2869) was revised in 2006 to allow the addition of FAME to both classes of middle distillate fuel, however this was rarely realised. Then the EU Fuel Quality Directive was implemented in the UK on the 14 January 2011 introducing changes to the composition of SFGO. Fuels intended for use in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM e.g. tractors) will have a sulphur content of 10ppm.

The new biofuel targets that came into force from 15th April 2018 are changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which compel suppliers of fuel to make sure the mix is at least 12.4% biofuel by 2032.

The scheme plans to increase the biofuels volume target gradually:
15th April 2018 increase to: 7.25%

1st January 2019 increase to: 9.75%
This means suppliers cannot now guarantee that their SFGO will be FAME free.

Click here to download the FAME Update 2018 PDF



Help and advice to manage FAME


For more information please contact our experienced team


T: 01765 640682 or 01765 641139

E: sales@kettlewellfuels.co.uk

W: kettlewellfuels.co.uk





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