Seems that the datasheet listing the properties of petroleum diesel and B5 biodiesel from last week’s launch of the B5 biodiesel programme in Putrajaya wasn’t quite up to date. With regards to certain aspects, specifically that of the sulphur content, Paul noticed the numbers didn’t quite add up, so having asked around, we’ve managed some answers.

Apparently, the column listing the properties of the total sulphur content for both in a photo recapture I took was from a booklet published by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board in August 2009 (third edition). The datasheet listed the sulphur content of B5 as 0.26% and Malaysian petroleum diesel as 0.28%, essentially 2,600 and 2,800 ppm, which met the MS123:1993 0.50% maximum sulphur content requirement which was still in effect at the time of printing.

According to Puah Chiew Wei, research officer in the engineering & processing research division at the MPOB, the current sulphur content of 100% pure palm biodiesel is <10 ppm (<0.001%) which meets the stringent requirements of MS2008:2008 and EN14214:2008. Malaysian petroleum diesel currently has a sulphur content of 300 to 400 ppm (0.03 to 0.04%). Puah adds that the low sulphur palm biodiesel thus contributes to reduction of sulphur content in B5, and as such, B5 meets the requirement of maximum sulphur content of 0.05% as stipulated under MS123:2005. Apparently again, the booklet wasn't officially distributed at the launch, but it was inserted into the press kit bag anyway by someone who saw fit to do so - time to print an updated booklet, perhaps?