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Report: biodiesel possible cause for uncoated steel tank corrosion

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SIKB, a ‘network organisation’ based out of the Netherlands, has observed accelerated corrosion in uncoated steel tanks when they store biofuels and has released a report into the causes. The aim of the report is to adjust legislation related to storage, says the organisation.

The interim report finds that when biodiesel is added to conventional diesel the environment in that tank changes to one that allows for microbiological influenced corrosion.

1400 tank inspection reports were used for the study as well as tank inspections conducted using laboratory analysis. Researchers had wanted to use this analysis in thirty tank inspections, but that amount of suitable tanks was not available. This interim report uses the results collected so far, with a full report expected to be released by the end of 2018.

SIKB says in a press release that although the report focuses on underground, steel, internally uncoated biodiesel storage tanks, there are strong indications that other kinds of tanks may be affected. The possible affected configurations include above ground, internally 1/3 coated tanks and storage tanks with a mixture of bio-ethanol.

The organisation says that undamaged tank coating had ‘a favorable influence on the prevention of the corrosion process’.