We arrived at a very sunny but cool and windy Pembrey with a slightly cloudy view of what we may achieve following on from the encouraging reductions in smoke we witnessed over the Easter Weekend at Brands Hatch.
With tests complete on a small sample of Trucks and reports published a number of parties, rightly, raised the following questions in relation to EN 15940 Paraffinic Diesels prior to the meeting at Pembrey.-

Whether the higher Cetane Values improve performance?

– A. EN 15940 fuels do have a higher Cetane rating than EN 590 fuels which indicates the EN 15940 fuels burn faster. The most notable attribute to this property is the EN 15940 fuels burn more completely reducing the quantity of partially burnt hydrocarbons (visable soot / smoke / particulates) emitted from the exhaust pipe. When we questioned experts from both Certas Energy and Green Bio Fuels, who supply EN 15940 fuels, if their fuels increase performance over EN590 fuels? The answer was there would no notable difference. The claims were backed up by a report published by University Professors. Although it is recognised that due to the cleaner burning and detergent properties held by different fuels within the group, it is possible that existing fouling of Valves, Injectors, Combustion Chambers and Turbo Parts is burnt off and cleaned away, a restorative effect may be witnessed to the power output of an engine.

Q. Is the fuel readily available for all competitors?

– A. Although not available at the pumps, EN 15940 is readily available to fleets, distributors and operators with bulk fuel storage facilities. The BTRA are working with suppliers to secure sufficient quantities are available at the Test Sessions and Race Meetings going forward, should competitors choose to run these fuels in an effort to reduce smoke emissions.

Q. Do the EN 15940 fuels react with Conventional EN 590 fuel?

– A. No, EN 15940 fuels are a straight drop in alternative to EN 590 and can be mixed. Practically every motor manufacturer recognises EN 15940 as a safe fuel which does not negatively affect warranty.

Q. How the new generation fuels fit within the current regulations?

– A. Up until now the BTRA regulations only recognised Diesel to EN 590 or similar standards and Bio Fuels meeting EN-14214:2003. Off of the back of the testing carried out so far, the questions above were raised regarding the use of EN 15940 fuels. During the drivers briefing at Pembrey, Steve Horne consulted with all of those in attendance, presenting the answers to the above concerns. The meeting concluded with no further questions or protests from those present.

Given the measured reduction in particulates so far, the evidence that no performance advantage is gained and that fuel can be made available for all competitors we are certainly paving the way for EN 15940 fuels to help secure a more environmentally friendly future for Truck Racing in the UK.
With the questions and concerns, that have now been addressed, looming prior to Pembrey, no provision was made in time to attend with sufficient EN 15940 fuel to run a large scale trial. We did however have opportunity at short notice to obtain a limited quantity of EN 15940 Bio Diesel, that is distributed by a company called Green Bio Fuels Ltd. and is marketed as Green D+.
John Powell agreed to run the fuel over 3 sessions, as this is the truck we currently have most data on. As anticipated the tests returned values reinforcing why we are looking towards this relatively new fuel group to aid our quest in reducing emissions.

Driver: John Powell Vehicle: DAF / Cummins M11 Race Number: 6
Fuel Type: Session: Result average over 3 Tests Pre 2008 Turbo Road Limit
Diesel Pre-Season 3.43 K(1/m) 3.0 K(1/m)
Diesel + Lucas* Pre-Season 3.29 K(1/m) 3.0 K(1/m)
Certas + Lucas Test 3** 1.87 K(1/m) 3.0 K(1/m)
Green Biofuels D+ Race 3 1.66 k(1/m) 3.0 K(1/m)

*Please be aware we had limited run time from when the Lucas Products were added to testing. Given more time for the products to function correctly we were confident to have seen a further decrease in opacity.

** Result from Brands Hatch
Reading this report, I can sympathise that, you may feel little was achieved over the weekend at Pembrey. With us only publishing additional data to one of the Trucks involved in the trials at Brands Hatch. We did measure the Trucks of 14 John Bowler, 50 Erik Forsstrom, 42 Luke Garrett and 19 Trevor Martin, giving us initial data that we can make comparisons to and publish as and when different variables are introduced and further results are taken. We came away having changed perceptions of some of those that may have been slightly sceptical of where we are going with the project. We have added another fuel within the EN 15940 family into the test results which reinforces a positive trend in the direction we are working towards.

Going forward we will be working hard between now and the meeting at Thruxton on the 29th and 30th June to secure availability of sufficient EN 15940 Fuel. Which will enable us to work with a broader sample size of Trucks and see how much of a difference we can make reducing Smoke Emissions effectively using simple and readily available solutions.

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