According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) biodiesel fuel quality survey, a record 97 percent of the samples tested met requirements in ASTM D6751, the biodiesel fuel quality specification. NREL obtained B100 samples from 53 producers and 14 terminals between August 2011 and February 2011 and according to Teresa Alleman, a senior chemist with NREL’s Fuels Performance Group, the samples represented 94 percent of the biodiesel volume currently in the marketplace.
“This is a huge improvement over previous years,” Alleman said. She explained that in 2006, only 40 percent of samples in the survey were on spec, a major drop from 2004 when 85 percent met the ASTM spec. However, there were far fewer producers in 2004 with only a fraction of production capacity compared to 2006.
The 2006 quality results led to the passage of the Cold Soak Filtration Test, which she called one of the best improvements to the specification and to biodiesel quality. Since 2004 there have been 15 modifications to D6751, which demonstrates the industry’s efforts to continually improve biodiesel fuel quality.
For more on biodiesel fuel quality, including the industry’s voluntary BQ9000 quality assurance program visit, www.bq-9000.org.