A nationwide diesel quality survey commissioned by the IFA has identified bacteria as the main problem in agricultural diesel. This is leading to clogged and slimy filters, excess smoke and loss of engine power.
IFA Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has described as alarming the fact that almost 25% of the samples tested did not achieve basic diesel quality standards. Diesel samples taken in counties Cork, Monaghan, Offaly, Wexford and Waterford have all shown high levels of bacteria, and in particular, the presence of yeasts and moulds were detected.
Under the standards set by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) there should be no microbial contamination in the fuel. Such contamination has resulted in the blocking of filters and injectors and in the corrosion of the holding tanks in farmyards.
The presence of sediment and dirt particles was seen in samples analysed from counties Laois, Sligo and Waterford. He said, “The diesel samples were taken from the delivery trucks, as they were filling the holding tanks in the farmyards therefore this indicates that the either the trucks delivering the diesel or the tanks in the ports are contaminated and need to be cleaned. This sediment contamination can lead to shortened filter life and can cause problems with the flow and combustion of the diesel, which can lead to fuel starvation in the engine.”
Based on the NSAI standards the colour of agri-diesel should be green; however in samples taken in counties Clare, Cork, Roscommon, Sligo and South Tipperary the colour was brown, indicating that the diesel may be old and oxidised.
IFA are now seeking a meeting with the Department of the Environment and will present the finding of the survey and demand an increased level of monitoring of fuel quality standards