ASTM releases new high-octane fuel standard D8067-17 to support development of more efficient engines
ASTM International recently announced the release of a new high-octane fuel standard that is expected to impact the development of gasoline products compatible with vehicles that feature high-performance fuel-efficient engines. Formation and approval of the standard was led by Dr. Robert L. McCormick, an the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) transportation research engineer.
The new standard—“Specification for 100 Research Octane Number Test Fuel for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines” (D8067-17)—covers the requirements of a high octane number fuel suitable for spark-ignition engines to be utilized in ground vehicles that will require 100 research octane number (RON) minimum rated fuel.
The fuels described by the specification are intended for developing technologies that lead to reduced vehicle energy consumption, such as higher compression ratio, higher power density, increased turbocharger boost pressure, smaller swept displacement volume, and operation at lower engine speeds.
The fuels covered in this specification may contain oxygenates—such as alcohols and ethers—at up to 50 % by volume. This specification covers fuels that may contain both fossil and bio-derived components. Fuels containing methanol are not included in this specification.
D8067-17 describes a high RON fuel for automotive spark-ignition engines that are not currently in the marketplace but that are being developed and thus require a defined standard test fuel. The high RON fuel could become available in the marketplace if/when such engines are introduced in commerce, ASTM noted.
The specification is under continuous review, which can result in revisions based on changes in fuel, automotive requirements, or test methods, or a combination thereof. All users of the specification should refer to the latest edition.
This new ASTM standard will help define a template for future vehicle certification fuel, with the ultimate goal of an affordable 100-RON gasoline that can be made at commercial scale to optimize engine performance.—Dr. McCormick
The request for the new standard came directly from an industry alliance of automakers, biofuel feedstock and producer groups, and agribusiness partners. ASTM’s Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants Committee tapped McCormick as technical lead of the effort based on the successful track record he and his NREL team have established in setting fuel standards. Those efforts have included extensive work in developing and updating ASTM standards for B100 for blending (D6751), biodiesel blends (D7467), and E85 (D5798).
The new standard was developed and passed in one year, after the ASTM work group reviewed technical data on the fuel requirements of high compression ratio and high efficiency spark-ignited engines to identify criteria for the new standard.
NREL’s fuels performance research takes a whole-vehicle-systems approach, not just setting fuel standards, but also examining co-optimization of high-performance fuels and internal combustion engines, fuel production, infrastructure, handling, combustion, and emissions. (Earlier post.) ASTM has defined and set more than 12,000 standards that are in operation globally to improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.