US and EU Market Biodiesel Blends Quality Review – An OEM Perspective 2009-01-1850
Biodiesel has become a major alternative fuel for automotive applications demonstrated by its increasing presence in the market place. This paper summarizes test results for recently collected retail samples of biodiesel (B100) and blended biodiesel from the U.S. and the European Union to provide a snap shot of current fuel quality in each market. Properties reported included biodiesel content, oxidation stability, acid number, water, metals, and glycerin content. For B100, only total contamination measured as particulates was significantly lower for the EU than the U.S. For blends containing up to 5% biodiesel, there were significant differences between the U.S. and the EU in sulfur content, oxidation stability (Rancimat), cetane number, and cloud point. For blends higher than B5, present only in the U.S., pump labeling was found to be a poor indicator of biodiesel content. Also, the results showed that Karl Fischer water limit could be substituted for water and sediment without hardship to the industry. While average quality in the EU was generally better than in the U.S., the spread of values in the U.S. showed that its quality could match that found in the EU for any property.