Portable Infrared Analyzers Help Pennsylvania Declares Independence from Imported Fossil Fuels with State Mandated Biofuels Program

East Norwalk, CT - Effective May 1, 2010, all diesel fuel sold at retail stations throughout the State of Pennsylvania must contain 2% biodiesel as part of an effort by Governor Rendell to boost the state's economy and reduce imported foreign fuel. Testing the fuel at the 1200 retail motor fuel locations throughout the State for 2% biodiesel is one of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) responsibilities.

The PDA selected the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer manufactured by Wilks Enterprise, Inc. for compliance monitoring because the analyzer could be used in the field and had the required accuracy of 0.2 percent. They recently purchased eight InfraCal Analyzers. Mike Rader, the lead person on all renewable and alternative energy efforts for PDA, estimates that they will run approximately 2000 samples annually for the on-road program and possibly another 2000 for their bio-heat and off-road fuel programs.

The InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer is a portable mid-infrared analyzer. The approved methods for biodiesel measurement are ASTM D 7371 in the US and EN 14078 in Europe -- both specify mid-infrared for the measurement of the biodiesel or FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) blend ratio. Infrared analysis works well for FAME because the biodiesel ester has characteristic infrared absorption due to the carbonyl band at 5.7 micrometers or 1745cm-1.

Since the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer is small (6 inches square), lightweight ( less than 5 lbs), rugged (no moving parts) and can be operated from a battery pack or a cigarette lighter adapter cable, it fits the requirements needed for traveling to retail stations to make on-site measurements. The operation simply involves putting a sample on the exposed sample plate, pressing the "run" button and in less than a minute, the display reads the percent biodiesel in the fuel sample.

When the PDA finds a fuel that is out of compliance, the department checks the required bill of lading tracking system that follows the fuel as it travels from the biodiesel producer to the blender, to the distributor, and finally to the retail location. With this paper trail, the PDA can identify the entity responsible for the out of compliance fuel and a correction can be enacted.

Mike Rader finds that Pennsylvania has become the leader throughout the United States with regard to biofuels development. His hope is that their success will encourage other states to propose similar mandates which would help commercialize renewable fuels and make them more economical for everyone.

For further information on the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzers, please contact: Wilks Enterprise, Inc., 25 Van Zant Street, Ste. 8F, E. Norwalk, CT 06855 TEL: 203-855-9136; FAX: 203-838-9868; Email: info@wilksir.com; or the information can be downloaded from the Wilks website: WilksIR.com; http://wilksir.com/biofuel-analyzers/infracal-hatr-t2b.html.

About Wilks Enterprise, Inc.
Headquartered in E. Norwalk, Connecticut, Wilks Enterprise specializes in easy-to-use, portable mid-infrared analyzers for specific measurement applications. All Wilks analyzers have been specifically designed for on-site use by non-technical personnel and are used for a wide variety of applications in the biofuels, environmental, petrochemical, quality control, and manufacturing industries. These portable analyzers enable analytical measurements to be made in the field, helping to eliminate the wait for off-site lab results.

For further press information or images, please contact Carol Tunick, VP - Marketing, at 203-855-9136 or email: ctunick@wilksir.com.

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