Enginemakers adopt test standards for biodiesel

| 6/19/2006

The Engine Manufacturer's Association has taken its first step toward testing higher biodiesel blends.

The association has endorsed a test specification for B20 blends of biodiesel – that is, blends that are 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent regular diesel.

To date, engine manufacturers have not endorsed anything beyond a B5 blend of biodiesel for use in their engines.

Joe Sucheki, spokesman for the EMA, told “Land Line Now” that this most recent move is not an official endorsement of B20, but it is a step in that direction.

“This specification is really meant to advance the testing of biodiesel fuels that have more than five percent biodiesel content,” he said. “Up to now the engine manufacturers have accepted up to 5 percent as an acceptable fuel.”

Sucheki said the specifications define a biodiesel blend with the properties and characteristics that engine manufacturers believe are needed to ensure good performance in today's engines.

“Without a test specification, you don't know what everybody's testing and you don't have any standards,” he said.

Suchecki said the two main areas the EMA looked at in developing the specifications were stability and glycerin content. He said stability was key because biodiesel has a tendency to break down faster than regular diesel.

And glycerin content was important, Sucheki said, because of the incident in Minnesota earlier this year, where a batch of biodiesel with too much glycerin caused engine problems and shut down the state's biodiesel production for two months.