The overall quality of biodiesel keeps getting better.
The National Renewable Energy Lab says that quality is key to the growing industry:
NREL Principal Engineer on Fuel Performance Robert McCormick says biodiesel quality is improving rapidly in the United States, with large producers consistently meeting specifications. However, some small producers still have trouble meeting national standards.
McCormick and Senior Engineer Teresa Alleman served as significant contributors to revised biofuels specifications recently published by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials.) Research conducted by NREL provided the technical basis for setting the new standards. McCormick and other collaborators also have co-authored the 2008 edition of the Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide.
The rigorous ASTM process yielded stringent specifications to help ensure the availability of high quality biodiesel blends in the marketplace and bolster automaker support and consumer demand for biodiesel.
NREL officials say the standards apply to any biodiesel, regardless of the feedstock used. That consistency is needed to ensure that when consumers buy biodiesel, they can rest assured that it will perform the same every time.