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From hospitals and colleges to breweries and aerospace companies, from film studios to oil companies, from Air Force bases to prisons these and many other types of organizations have purchased AMBER 363-II FUEL for the cost-effective reduction of emissions it provides. Today, in southern California, as an approved stand-by fuel for interruptible natural gas for use in boilers, generators, and turbines, AMBER® 363-II FUEL is used in over 250 locations.

This clear fuel produces NOx emissions equal to or lower than the primary fuel. As part of an overall stand-by fuel package, it is, in most cases, more cost effective than methanol or propane. As a virtual drop-in replacement for #2 diesel, little, if any, capital investment is required to change to this clean stand-by fuel alternative. This helps to facilitate compliance for both source owners and regulators.

AMBER 363-II FUEL and Regulations

In 1990, Congress adopted the Clean Air Act Amendments, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was given the task of coordinating the efforts to reduce ozone-generating airborne pollutants. Southern California–in particular the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)–took a lead in pollutant reduction, and was one of the first to have its plan approved by the EPA. The extent to which the ultimate Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) levels and Lowest Achievable Emission Rating (LAER) levels will reflect the emission limits set by SCAQMD Regulation 1146 for other areas of the United States is uncertain.

AMBER® 363-II FUEL was originally developed as a stand-by fuel with the emission requirements of SCAQMD Regulation 1146 in mind. Depending on the specific boiler/burner configuration, NOx emissions in the range of 10-30 ppm can be achieved. The EPA mandated that all non-attainment states must submit a detailed plan for controlling emissions. The NOx RACT levels for most non-attainment areas are presently less stringent than those specified under SCAQMD Regulation 1146.

Amber 363-II Fuel Versuses Other Fuels

Typical Property Comparison Between Amber 363-II & #2 Diesel



Flash Point 152 125
Heating Value, Btu/lb 20,173 19,000
Heating Value, Btu/gal 133,500 138.500
Nitrogen, ppm <0.3 <400-700
Sulphur, ppm <1 <500
Viscosity, Cst 1.54 1.9-4.1
Weight/gallon, lb 6.622 7.29
Specific Gravity 0.799 0.8398
API Gravity @ 60 °F 46.4 37
Ash Content, wt % <0.001 <0.001
Cetane Number 59.2 47
Pour Point °F -15 20
Oxidation Stability <0.1 <0.1

The comparison with methanol and propane initially shows the significant differences between these fuels and AMBER® 363-II FUEL. Both methanol and propane are much lower in heat input per gallon and also lead to lower boiler efficiency. They are both flammable and may require above ground storage tanks. Propane is explosive while methanol is toxic and corrosive to equipment. Neither of the fuels can be directly used in existing diesel generators due to their need for spark ignition. Even after the appropriate conversion, methanol requires a significant warm-up time in the generator before full power is reached. The main benefit of both methanol and propane, relative to AMBER® 363-II FUEL, is that they have lower unit fuel prices, although this is likely to be offset by other factors in most applications.

In comparison with natural gas, the NOx emissions of AMBER® 363-II FUEL are usually very similar. This means that, in any given situation, the stand-by fuel will allow emission levels to be maintained when the primary fuel is interrupted. In addition, when natural gas is being used in co-firing situations, switching to the stand-by fuel will not require equipment adjustments or blend ratio revisions for emission levels to remain unaltered.

Selecting a Stand-by Fuel for Natural Gas in a Retrofit Situation to Replace #2 Diesel

  • Ensure that all alternatives under consideration meet the appropriate emission and all other related regulations.
  • Establish and compare their heat input values.
  • Add in the effect of the different boiler “efficiencies” with the various fuels.
  • Calculate the necessary tank sizes for the defined stand-by period.
  • Calculate the fuel cost to fill these tanks * Generate the capital cost of installing new tanks and lines, if necessary.
  • Establish the cost of obtaining permits for installing these new tanks, especially if they are above ground.
  • Establish the cost of refurbishing the existing equipment to make it suitable for the new fuel. In the case of methanol, this might include the cost of changing all the contact surfaces to avoid corrosion. In the case of propane or methanol, this might include the cost of converting an IC generator from compression ignition to spark ignition.
  • Establish the cost of cleaning the existing tanks and lines if appropriate.
  • Calculate the total cost to install a new stand-by system for each fuel.
Our dedicated team will be with you every step of the way providing detailed information about system requirements and calculations, ensuring proper permits, and navigating regulations.
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