Renewable Energy & Biofuels

Our experience and expertise in the analysis, specification testing, handling, shipping, and investigation of problems involving traditional fossil fuels such as coal, coke, petroleum and petrochemical products, coupled with the rapidly growing need for alternative energy, has made MTD the natural choice for many when considering the investigation of renewable energy sources.

The introduction of liquid biofuels, including biodiesel/FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters) and bioethanol, into the current transport fuel infrastructure has led to a number of issues for those involved in their production, carriage, storage and end use. The specifications and test methods currently in place for these products are in their infancy, and often problems have being discovered only after the widespread introduction of these fuels. Additionally, the characteristics of the fuels are often very different compared to "conventional" fuels, necessitating specific and sometimes unique considerations for the safe handling, carriage and end use of these products.

Using a combination of the experience we have gained in the thousands of petroleum, petrochemical and oleochemical cases we have investigated and the technical expertise of our consultants (many of whom sit on committees involved in developing test methods and inspection techniques for biofuels) and analytical staff, we feel we offer an unparalleled service in the investigation of claims in this new and challenging area. Our analytical laboratories are equipped with the necessary instrumentation to perform specification testing for biofuels, which coupled with the bespoke investigative analysis we are able to offer on a case by case basis, allows us to offer a comprehensive investigative service to those involved in this challenging new area.
Biomass fuels such as woodchip/pellets and waste derived fuels also require analysis and testing to establish properties such as moisture, ash content, volatile matter, calorific value, density and size distribution. Other factors may be of interest such as the evolution of sulphur and chlorine as potentially corrosive combustion emissions, or heavy metals such as lead and mercury on environmental grounds.

Some alternative fuels may be a blend, comprising both renewable biomass and traditional fossil fuel derivatives, such as plastics. Analysis can determine the relative contributions provided by the biomass and non biomass fractions, assisting in establishing a fuels green credentials. Our expertise with techniques such as Gas Chromatography and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry allows the fingerprinting and identification of the major and minor constituents of complex mixtures of alternative fuels. The information gained from such techniques is particularly useful in the development of these fuels to meet the current specifications and standards for safe and effective use.

These activities are linked to our work as Public Analysts. The expanding use of wind turbines and marine turbines has led to the adoption of innovative techniques and technologies, each of which bring with them new scientific and engineering challenges. MTD has worldwide expertise in, Material Failure Investigation, Materials Science, Metallurgical & Corrosion Analysis, Composites Testing, Mechanical Testing and Non Destructive Testing, all of which are important to resolving and managing these challenges.

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