Review on biodiesel standardization world-wide

May 2004

IEA Bioenergy, an international collaboration in Bioenergy, aims to accelerate the use of environmentally sound and cost-competitive bioenergy on a sustainable basis, and thereby achieve a substantial contribution to future energy demands.
The main objectives of Task 39 “Liquid Biofuels” are to work jointly with governments and industry to identify and eliminate non-technical environmental and institutional barriers which impede the use of liquid fuels from biomass in the transportation sector, and to identify remaining technological barriers to Liquid Biofuels technologies. IEA Bioenergy Task 39 "Liquid Biofuels" is currently composed of 10 countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Finland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, USA and UK) interested in working together to successfully introduce biofuels for transportation into the marketplace. This Task reviews both technical and policy/regulatory issues and provides participants with comprehensive information that will assist them with the development and deployment of biofuels for motor fuel use.
The extent to which biofuels have entered the marketplace varies significantly by country. The reasons for these differences are complex and include a variety of policy and market issues. While biofuels offer significant potential, the prices of biofuels are higher than their petroleum equivalents. As a result, biofuels have been successfully implemented only in those countries that have recognized the value of those benefits and have made appropriate policy decisions to support biofuels.
Standardization is one of the key issues in the development of new products and markets. For the producers and distributors of Biodiesel, standards are a vital necessity. Legislators and authorities need approved standards for the evaluation of safety and environmental risks. The development of engines, vehicles and equipment is based on the properties of the fuel; the range of the fuel parameters must be limited. The development of a new standard is complex and long-lasting task even on the national level. International standardization is the result of the co-operation of national standardization organization and enables the development international markets.
In respect of this aspects BLT has initiated this review on Biodiesel Standardization worldwide. The study describes general aspects of the standardization process, important regulations and recommendations as well as and the state of the standardization in Europe, North America, Australia and Brazil. Thanks to the good contacts of the authors it reflects the actual state of the Biodiesel standardization worldwide. Standardization of biofuels is “work in progress”, and therefore the Liquid Biofuels Task will try to continue the monitoring of the development.

By: M. Wörgetter (BLT Wieselburg)

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