How and where to find a fuel
Most laboratories are able to test any product depending upon a customer’s request and fuel-testing labs are no exception. Commercial laboratories will have the equipment, methods, applications, Government authorisations or patents needed for testing and the specialist knowledge to do so.
In specific fields, such as fuel testing, great care is required in sampling, testing and storage as it is an unstable compound. Fuel is used everywhere in synthesised products such as diesel, bio diesel, petrol, gasoline, oil, etc.
In chemistry fuel is described as an aromatic hydrocarbon and the instruments to analyse it are: gas chromatography; distillation; ultra violet; spectrophotometer; wet chemistry and some physical tests. One of the most important fuel tests is to ensure its stability during winter and summer use.
* How to find a fuel-testing lab in the UK
There are many independent laboratories in the UK such as M-Scan, Alcontrol, Tecnoveritas, Intertek, and more. All of these laboratories have the ability to work on fuel as they have the required accreditation from the UK Government.
Publications such as the New Scientist magazine or details from the Royal Society of Chemistry can be great places to start a search for laboratories that conduct fuel-testing in your area. Internet search engines can also provide details on a number of fuel testing laboratories and it will be necessary to contact the companies individually. The yellow pages of national and local telephone directories are also a great place to locate fuel-testing laboratories as long as you know the type of testing required. For example, when viscosity tests are needed a local laboratory that is able to conduct lubricant testing will be sufficent.
Well known laboratories with international reputations work closely with car manufacturers, Government bodies and other major fuel providers to carry out a variety of tests on fuel. Some of the smaller independent labs also offer a number of tests on fuel and sometimes these can provide better results than the larger labs previously cited because they tend to be more specialist.
* How to find a fuel-testing lab in the US
In the United States it is possible to find local fuel testing laboratories via internet search engines or using much the same methods that are detailed above for locating labs in the UK. There are many fuel testing labs in areas around Texas, Nevada and California as these are the big fuel producers and refining areas in the United States. For example, one of the world’s largest oil companies, Total, has offices and laboratories in Houston where it is possible to arrange private fuel testing.
Finally, you can follow the same procedures detailed above for locating fuel-testing laboratories in any other part of the world.