Biodiesel and Ethanol

New Biodiesel Specifications Published by ASTM International

October 14, 2008

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA – Higher costs at the pump, renewable energy, and alternate sources continue to headline today’s news, and a group of newly published ASTM International specifications sets the standard for one type of these fuels: biodiesel. Four standards now available from ASTM International provide quality assurance for biodiesel — a fuel used in freight trucks, buses, boats, ships, and more.

“The specifications define properties and controls critical to the viable use of biodiesel blends in the marketplace. These standards, when fully enforced, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission pump labeling requirements will provide engine manufacturers and their customers’ confidence that the fuels will perform as expected,” said Roger Gault, technical director for the Engine Manufacturers Association in Chicago, who participated in the standards’ development.

The new and revised ASTM biodiesel standards include the following:

· ASTM D975-08a, Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils — used for on- and off-road diesel applications; was revised to include requirements for up to five percent biodiesel.

· D396-08b, Specification for Fuel Oils — used for home heating and boiler applications; was revised to include requirements for up to five percent biodiesel.

· ASTM D7467-08, Specification for Diesel Fuel Oil, Biodiesel Blend (B-6 to 20) — a completely new specification that covers finished fuel blends of between six (B6) and 20 (B20) percent biodiesel for on- and off-road diesel engine use.

· ASTM D6751-08, Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B-100) for Middle Distillate Fuels — used to control pure biodiesel (B-100) quality prior to blending with conventional diesel type fuels; was revised to include a requirement that controls minor compounds using a new cold soak filterability test.

The widely used ASTM International diesel specifications have been in existence for decades with only minor changes to their contents.

 “ASTM D975 and ASTM D396 are the primary specifications in the U.S. for each of the products that they specify. D975 is the commercial diesel fuel specification,” said Steve Westbrook, a staff scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and chair of Subcommittee D02.E0 on Burner, Diesel, Non-Aviation Gas Turbine, and Marine Fuels, the group in ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants that oversees the standards.

“D396 is the commercial heating oil specification. Now we have actually been given allowance to put something in that historically has not been in diesel fuel and is not a diesel fuel, with really no significant change to the properties or their requirements.”

For more information about the biodiesel standards, the biodiesel Web portal and Committee D02, contact ASTM staff manager David Bradley at (610) 832-9681 or email him at [email protected].

ASTM International standards can be purchased from ASTM Customer Service at (610) 832-9585; or email [email protected], or visit: www.astm.org.

 

 

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