Yesterday saw the introduction of the B10 blend biodiesel pilot programme in the country, in which vehicles of Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) are set to use the fuel, a mixture of 10% palm biodiesel and 90% petroleum diesel.

All 81 MPIC-owned vehicles with diesel engines, along with its agencies’ vehicles operating around Selangor and Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, will participate in the pilot programme. In total, the vehicles will consume 25 tonnes of palm biodiesel annually.

The implementation follows in line with the decision by the government to upgrade the existing B5 programme, which has been in place since November 1, 2011, to a B10 one. To support the development of B10, the MPIC is working together with SIRIM and Department of Standard Malaysia to build a new B10 standard, as the existing one, namely MS123:2005, is only for B5.

The new B10 standard is due to be launched nationwide as soon as it’s established, with the plan being to have a nationwide implementation in place by July 2014. The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) will head the programme, particularly in areas of palm biodiesel supply as well as related logistical and technical aspects.

diesel cap

Diesel passenger vehicles usually have a B7 rating written on the fuel cap, so the move to 10% inadvertently leads to questions about adverse effects on diesel engine vehicles.

According to the MPOB, studies conducted have shown that B10 usage will not bring have a negative impact on diesel engine vehicles. The move to have all MPIC vehicles and that of its agencies utilising it is very much a step to convince everyone – including OEMs and petroleum companies – of that.

We managed to ask BMW Malaysia about this matter, and it said that that the 10% in B10 is too small to have any significant effect. The company says it has carried out tests and its cars work fine up to B13 (which is a blend of 13% biodiesel and 87% petroleum diesel). The reason that B7 is written on the fuel cap is that in most markets overseas, the biodiesel only goes up to a B7 blend.

It was earlier reported that the move towards a B10 blend nationwide (for the non-subsidised sector) would ease the current record high palm oil stock by assisting the removal of crude palm oil stock from the marketplace. It is forecasted that a total of one million tonnes of raw palm oil will be used as material for the said program when it is running.

Click here and here to read more about the B5 biodiesel already in place.