Log in | Subscribe | RSS feed

What’s New

France increases biodiesel limit in diesel fuel to 8%

14 January 2015

The French energy ministry issued a Ministerial Order (DEVR1431074A), published on 3 January 2015, that increased the maximum content of FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) biodiesel in diesel sold at services stations in France to 8% by volume, one percent higher than the EU-wide limit of 7%.

The current 7% FAME limit in diesel fuel has been specified by the European EN 590 standard for diesel fuel since its 2009 edition.

However, the provisions of the European Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC) on the FAME content in diesel fuels are somewhat inconsistent. While specifying the maximum FAME content at 7%, the Directive also explicitly allows Member States to permit the placing on the market of diesel fuel with a FAME content greater than 7%.

The French decision has been criticized by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) and FuelsEurope—a lobbying group of the EU petroleum refining and marketing industry.

The French Ministerial Order may lead to a fragmentation of the single market for road fuels in the European Union, said the two groups in a joint statement. “A deviation from this standard by individual Member States is neither in the interests of EU consumers nor the EU economy. It will lead to unnecessary higher complexity and extra-costs in the in the logistics and supply system, due to the proliferation of diesel grades throughout Europe. It puts consumers at risk in cases where their vehicles have a warranty that covers diesel fuel to a maximum of 7% FAME content.”

ACEA also noted that instead of going beyond the current maximum FAME limit of 7%, there are technically acceptable renewable and sustainable alternatives to using FAME such as renewable paraffinic fuels (TS EN 15940), including HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and co-processing of oils and fats.

Source: ACEA | Reuters