Browse Publications Technical Papers 2014-01-1379

Review of 2013 U.S. Retail Biodiesel Blends Quality Survey 2014-01-1379

Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines and is made from agricultural co-products such as soybean oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil and other natural oils. Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel that is biodegradable and non-toxic compared to petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel has become a major alternative fuel for automotive applications and is critical for lowering US dependence on foreign oil and attain energy security. Vehicle manufacturers have developed new vehicle and diesel engine technologies compatible with B6-B20 biodiesel blends meeting ASTM D7467 specifications.
Field warranty and validation tests have shown significant concerns with use of poor quality biodiesel fuels including fuel system deposits, engine oil deterioration, and efficiency loss of the after treatment system. Maintaining good quality of biodiesel is critical for success as a commercial fuel.
This paper will summarize test results of recently collected retail biodiesel blend samples from the U.S. to provide a snap shot of the current fuel quality in the market. Some of the properties reported include biodiesel content, oxidation stability, acid number, cloud point, water, metals, and glycerin content. Significance of each property on vehicle performance is also described.


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