20 June 2008

The ASTM International D02 Main Committee approved new ASTM specifications for biodiesel blends. After more than five years of extensive research, ASTM has finally voted to approve three key sets of biodiesel specifications:

  • Changes to the existing B100 biodiesel blend stock specification (ASTM D6751)
  • Finished specifications to include up to 5% biodiesel (B5) in the conventional petrodiesel specification (ASTM D975)
  • A new specification for blends of between 6% biodiesel (B6) to 20% biodiesel (B20) for on- and off-road diesel.

One of the major changes in the D6751 specification was the addition of cold soak filtration test to better quantify the low temperature operability of biodiesel.

Most automakers and engine manufacturers in the USA currently accept the use of B5 biodiesel blends. One of the reasons preventing manufacturers from accepting higher blends was the lack of fuel specifications. With the adoption of the new standards, more manufacturers are expected to allow the use of B6-B20 blends in their engines.

The approval of ASTM specifications for inclusion of up to 5% biodiesel (B5) in the regular diesel fuel pool also means that biodiesel could become more readily available at retail fueling stations.

The ASTM International Main Committee also approved a fourth set of specifications for inclusion of B5 biodiesel in heating oil. Marketed as “Bioheat”, biodiesel is used as a home heating oil, particularly in the Northeast United States.

Source: National Biodiesel Board