Corrosion Integrity Threats in the Transportation of Biodiesel

Biodiesel (B100) is briefly defined as the monoalkyl esters of oils or fats. The demand for biodiesel and biodiesel blends as a fuel source has increased exponentially in the last decade. Today in the United States, nearly every Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) has approved the use of biodiesel blends of up to 5% (B5). According to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), the yearly production of B100 has increased from approximately 0.5 million gallons in 1999 to 450 million in 2007. A current estimate indicates that nearly 170 biodiesel plants are operational in the U.S. as of 2008 with a projected production volume of 1.5 billion gallons (bg) by the end of 2009. In addition, new regulations will force a significant growth in biodiesel production during the next 5 years. The most recent Renewable Fuel Standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifies a number of alternative biofuels, including corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanols, biodiesels, and other advanced biofuels that may be manufactured in the future using hitherto unknown technologies. The standard does not provide specific targets for biodiesel because the technology for its manufacture is still evolving. Significant research efforts are underway to manufacture biodiesel from algae. If successful, the biodiesel volumes could increase enormously, eclipsing other biofuels. Pipeline transportation can save up to 20 cents a gallon of fuel transported over trucks and can result in other benefits such as lower greenhouse gas emissions and decreased hazards due to highway accidents. The benefits of pipeline transportation are predicated upon addressing all the integrity and operational issues. Integrity threats for transportation of biodiesel and biodiesel fuel blends through pipelines have not been addressed explicitly. The corrosion resistance of common materials systems that the fuel would see regular incidence with has not been verified. The overarching goal of this work was to address these uncertainties as comprehensively as possible within a manageable scope of work. The work was divided up into three main technical tasks as follows: Task 2 – Corrosion Inhibition Performance; Task 3 – Integrity of Non-Ferrous Metallic System Components (Cu-alloys); and Task 4 – Integrity of Non-Metallic System Components (Elastomers). Because the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) decided to terminate the project much earlier than the originally planned ending date, the work scope was adjusted to achieve the most valuable results obtainable in the truncated amount of time. The key results based on the adjusted work scope are: 1. Literature survey on pipeline materials systems and precedence for degradation related work on those systems in biofuels; 2. Investigation of the plausibility of electrochemical measurement in biodiesel fuels; and 3. Biodiesel corrosivity determined on pipe steel with and without the aid of commonly used petrodiesel inhibitors.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Det Norske Veritas, Incorporated

    5777 Frantz Road
    Dublin, OH  United States  43017

    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

    Department of Transportation
    East Building, 2nd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • James, Joshua
    • Gui, Feng
    • Sridhar, Narasi
  • Publication Date: 2011-10-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01640208
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Report No. 2011-9695, Project No. EP032429
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 3 2017 11:58AM