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Majority of biodiesel produced in US ‘readily exceeds’ specification limits

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US biodiesel association the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has welcomed new fuel quality reports published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which are making information about the quality of biodiesel more accessible than ever.

NREL’s statistical analysis, which is supported with funding from the NBB, is based on thousands of data points that were previously unavailable, according to the association.

"Never before has NREL been able to provide this level of fuel quality information," said Theresa Alleman, senior fuel chemist for NREL. "By partnering with NBB's National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (NBAC), BQ-9000, we now have a simpler, more efficient way to collect, analyse, and determine the quality of biodiesel. These reports will act as a reoccurring insight into biodiesel fuel quality each year."

The reports are comprised of data from US and Canadian BQ-9000 producer members. Reports from 2017 and 2018 show that the vast majority of biodiesel produced exceeded the specification limits in ASTM D6751, the standard for biodiesel.

"These reports show what we've been saying for years," added Scott Fenwick, technical director at the NBB. "Biodiesel fuel is of the absolute highest quality, and these reports prove it. Having this data every year will go a long way in demonstrating to OEMs and regulatory agencies that biodiesel should be the fuel of choice for any diesel engine."

In order to gather data, biodiesel producers test their own B100 fuel, 100% pure biodiesel, at the point of production every month. This data is then provided to the NBAC, which subsequently randomises and anonymises the results before providing the final version to NREL for statistical analysis.