In 2003, the European Union adopted Biofuels Directive 2003/30/EC, which dictates that all oil companies on the continent be capable of offering motor fuels that have a minimum of 5.75% biofuel content by January 1, 2010. To meet this directive, fuel producers and suppliers need the capability to blend biofuels/ethanol and motor fuel both accurately and efficiently.
While blending biofuels/ethanol at the loading rack has many operational benefits, getting the ethanol into the blending system is just as important an application as moving the finished product out and into the supply chain. To that end, the United Kingdom subsidiary of a Netherlands-based supplier of precision instrumentation and software systems for bulk-storage operations developed a range of offloading/blending skids to aid the process.
A key component of these skids are Blackmer X Series sliding vane pumps, which are supplied by London-based AxFlow UK, a positive-displacement pump distributor. As many as four Blackmer pumps — which have received ATEX 01T3 international certification for this operation — are used on the skids, with four-inch pumps used for offloading the ethanol from transport trucks into storage tanks and two-inch pumps used for blending in denaturant, if required.
The Blackmer X Series pumps are ideal for handling ethanol and other biofuels due to their design. Among their benefits:
Sliding-vane design self-adjusts for wear to maintain flow rates.
Self-priming and dry-run capabilities.
Stripping, or evacuation, of “heels” from transport trucks into storage tanks.
Adjustable relief valve that protects pump from excessive pressures.
Easy maintenance allows vanes to be replaced without removing the pump from piping.
For more details, e-mail Tom Stone at [email protected] or call (616) 248-9252.