New Biodiesel Blend Specifications Published

Specs will help facilitate biodiesel commerce.

ASTM International, one of the largest and most highly regarded standards development organizations in the world, has published the highly anticipated biodiesel blend specifications on the ASTM Web site www.astm.org for general use.

Included are specifications for on- and off-road diesel fuel with up to a 5% blend of biodiesel, fuel oils up to 5% and diesel fuel for both on- and off-road use that is blended with 6-20% biodiesel.

"The new ASTM standards for biodiesel blends are the result of years of negotiation between the various parties at ASTM and years of research on how the properties of biodiesel blends affect engine performance," says Bob McCormick, a fuels performance engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "NREL has conducted extensive research over the past four years to support development of these standards, which we believe will lead to an expansion of markets for biodiesel while at the same time ensuring that users have trouble-free performance."

Biodiesel producers, petroleum companies, engine companies, vehicle manufacturers, pipeline operators, fleets and consumers will benefit from the new biodiesel blend specifications, using them for fuel preparation, quality checking, engine design, and bid and purchasing contracts.

"These specifications combine the input of engine interests, petroleum interests, and biodiesel interests, as well as government and military representatives, researchers and academics," says Steve Howell, Technical Director for the National Biodiesel Board. "It took cooperation and a lot of data and information sharing between all those parties to reach consensus. This is an important achievement for the biodiesel industry that will help move us forward."

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