From fuel testing to technical advice, the REG Technical Services team supports customers and non-customers alike
If you’ve ever run into fuel-related issues or questions with your fleet, you know how important it is to get a helpful answer from trusted experts right away. The Renewable Energy Group Technical Services team serves as those experts for REG customers and non-customers alike.
“We provide the same fuel testing and technical support to non-customers as we do with customers,” says Kelsey Erickson, Manager, Quality Assurance. “We want to ensure anyone who is currently, or may soon be, using biofuels has a good experience using them in order to support the biomass-based diesel market.”
Testing for success
The team consists of 15 laboratory technicians, chemists, and engineers — 14 are based in Ames, Iowa, and one is in Europe. The Ames lab has more extensive testing capabilities than most fuel producers and provides the support for free.
“We can perform fuel sample testing; analyze filters and non-fuel samples; and provide technical advice on storing, handling and blending fuel,” says Erickson. “We can also provide technical guidance on the fuel properties customers should consider for their specific operations.”
The most common work they do for customers is to test field samples for moisture, cold property parameters, FTIR analysis and residue identification. They also have the capabilities to test for most of the ASTM biodiesel, renewable diesel and petroleum diesel parameters, as well as to conduct other common tests in the fuel and oil and fats industries.
In short, this team helps fleets perform their best, no matter the conditions.
High-tech to ensure high quality
The state-of-the-art REG Research Center was commissioned in 2009 and is 4,000 square feet. Testing done in the center includes:
- Cold Soak Filtration, Cold Soak Filter Blocking Tendency, Cold Filter Plugging Point (CFPP) and Cloud Point testing to determine cold weather properties
- Elemental analysis, such as Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) testing, to identify and quantify elements other than carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, such as sulfur and metals
- Gas Chromatography (GC), GC-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS), and GC Headspace testing to identify and analyze different substances in a liquid sample
- Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to determine the presence of a wide variety of molecules and materials in liquid and solid samples
- Viscosity, density, flash point, and energy content testing
The facility also houses lab-scale processing equipment for research and development, including a variety of reactors, mixers, distillation and other separation units, filtration units, and fermenters.
All REG biorefineries have an on-site lab as well. Their main focus is to ensure the quality of the incoming and outgoing materials by testing the incoming feedstocks and chemicals, in-process samples, and finished fuel and co-products.
Proof in the performance
With so many experts and top-notch equipment, it’s no wonder the Iowa Department of Transportation turns to the REG Technical Services team for their fuel-related questions too. Read this case study to see how the team made an important discovery that saved major headaches for the Iowa DOT’s snow removal team.
For help with your fuel-related questions, contact REG Technical Services at 1-888-REG-8686.
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