ASTM Issues Biodiesel Fuel Standard

ASTM has issued a fuel specification for biodiesel, an alternative fuel that can be made from any fat or oil, such as soybean oil. Specification D 6751, Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuels, applies to all biodiesel fuel bought and sold in the United States.

West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania – August 30, 2002 [] It marks a major milestone for the biodiesel industry. The ASTM Biodiesel Task Force began working on the standard in 1994. Fuel producers, users, engine makers, and others all had an opportunity to provide input. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine, usually with no modifications. It performs comparably to diesel, with similar BTU content and higher cetane. It offers excellent lubricity and lower emissions than petroleum diesel. D 6751 covers the incorporation of pure biodiesel (B100) into conventional diesel fuel up to 20 percent by volume (B20). Higher blend levels may be acceptable, depending on the experience of the engine company. More than 100 major fleets, including the U.S. Postal Service, the City of Philadelphia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, several public transit systems, national parks, school districts, private recycling and concrete companies, and the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, currently use B20. Biodiesel is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency as a fuel and fuel additive. It is the only alternative fuel to have completed the rigorous Health Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. Results show biodiesel reduces carcinogenic air toxics by 75 – 90 percent compared to diesel. Pure biodiesel (B100) is also nontoxic, biodegradable and essentially sulfur free. It reduces emissions of particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates, and carbon dioxide.
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