Manufacturers, policy makers, regulators and biodiesel industry representatives met recently for the 2007 Biodiesel Summit at the NextEnergy Center in Detroit with a focus on clearing impediments to full support of B20 blends.
DaimlerChrysler, a sponsor of the B20 Summit, challenged the group to come up with a viable fuel standard for the B20 finished blend.
...the goal now is to develop a national B20 standard that can be universally applied to all diesel vehicles, both on road and in production, to confidently support higher blends of biodiesel such as B20.—Deborah Morrissett, DaimlerChrysler’s VP of Regulatory Affairs
A major step towards full B20 support is finalization of a defined B20 American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specification. The ASTM B20 specification moved closer to reality in recent months when the group approved new limits in ASTM D6751, the existing standard for pure (B100) biodiesel, for oxidation stability and other parameters needed for 2007/2010 diesel engines.
Beyond the final approval of the B20 finished fuel standard, participants identified several areas that need additional study and funding to bolster full B20 support, including:
Long-term effects of B20 on emissions control and after-treatment devices;
Long-term engine durability testing; and
Greater fuel quality monitoring efforts to ensure the fuel standards are being met.
Our goals for next generation biodiesel are to optimize biodiesel’s fatty acid profile for cold flow and stability, optimize agriculture for higher production of oils and fats from traditional crops, and to develop non-traditional additional crops like micro-algae for biodiesel, or even crops that can be grown on marginal land or using brownfield sites.—Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board Chief Operations Officer
All major OEMs support B5 and lower blends, provided they are made with biodiesel meeting ASTM D6751, the existing ASTM standard for pure biodiesel (B100). Use of blends higher than B5 will not necessarily void existing warranties. A growing number of OEMs are also recommending that users purchase biodiesel from BQ-9000 certified companies. BQ-9000 is the biodiesel industry’s quality program for biodiesel producers and marketers.
While full B20 support is the goal, several auto and equipment manufacturers have recognized that the market may not be willing to wait years for it to happen. DaimlerChrysler was the first auto manufacturer to approve the use of B20 by government, military and commercial fleet customers in its 2007 model year Dodge Ram pickup truck. New Holland has also approved the use of B20 in all of its equipment using New Holland engines, becoming the first OEM to announce full formal support for B20 in the engines it produces.
Cummins this week followed suit, approving the use of B20 biodiesel blends in its 2002 and later emissions-compliant ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC and ISB engines. This includes the recently released 2007 products. (Earlier post.)