Standards for the production, storage and transportation of biofuels

Overview

Biofuels Standards in the EU

The production, storage, transportation and use of various biofuels is governed by a range of international standards.

The European Commission works closely with CEN for the development and continuous improvement of standards for biofuel use in automotive engines via various tools such as mandates, studies and contracts. The work is carried out by CEN Technical Committee 19 which consists of experts from the automotive industry, the fuel industry, biofuels producers as well as various stakeholders.

Relevant standards include:

  • EN590 (biodiesel)
  • EN14214 (FAME)
  • EN228, EN15736 (bioethanol)

View the CEN business plan for TC19: Gaseous and Liquid Fuels, Lubricants and Related Products of Petroleum, Synthetic and Biological Origin

CEN/TC 19/WG 41 is currently developing standards for fast pyrolysis oils in response to EC mandate M/525 (2013). Three standards will be developed for replacement of heavy fuel oil, light fuel oil and for use of bio-oils in stationary combusiton engines. Later, two furtrher technical specifications may also be introduced for use of fast pyrolysis oils as gasfication feedstocks and for mineral oil refinery co-processing, as and when required.

Standards organisations for biofuels

Recent ASTM biofuels standards / specifications

ASTM Aviation Fuel Subcommittee

ASTM D7566-11, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons

In June 2014, Renewable Synthesized Iso-Paraffinic (SIP) fuel (renewable farnesane hydrocarbon) was included in ASTM International standard D7566.

In December 2014, ASTM D7875, was approved: 'Standard Test Method for Determination of Butanol and Acetone Content of Butanol for Blending with Gasoline by Gas Chromatography'. The standard is primarily designed to ensure the purity of isobutanol manufactured for use as a fuel.

In October 2013, ASTM D7862 was announced for blends of butanol with gasoline at 1 - 12.5 % vol in automotive spark ignition engines. The specification covers three butanol isomers: 1-butanol, 2-butanol, and 2-methyl-1-propanol. The specification specifically excludes 2-methyl-2-propanol (that is, tert-butyl alcohol).

REACH Regulation

EU REACH Regulation (Regulation (EC) 1907/2006) entered into force on June 1st, 2007 and deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of CHemicals. The overall objective of the REACH Regulation is to ensure high levels of human health and environmental protection through the registration of chemical substances circulated in the EU and identification of their intrinsic properties. 

Biofuels compatibility / testing

There are several commercial laboratories that test and inspect biofuels in various ways. Examples include Intertek and SGS.

CEN/TC 383 Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications (prEN 16214)

A new standard (EN 16214), has been developed by CEN/TC 383 on Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications. The standard, in four parts (Terminology; Conformity assessment; Biodiversity & environmental aspects; and Calculation methods) was made available in the autumn of 2012.

CEN Technical Committee (TC) 383 was created in 2008 in order to work on European Standards (EN 16214) dealing with sustainability principles, criteria and indicators including their verification and auditing schemes for biomass for energy applications. This includes green house gas emission and fossil fuel balances, biodiversity, environmental, economic and social aspects and indirect effects within each of the aspects.

The Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28) sets the framework for the work of TC 383. Sustainability criteria related to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels were also requested in the Fuel Quality Directive (98/70/EC). In May 2009, the European Commission (EC) requested CEN/TC 383 through a letter to initiate work on standards. CEN is finalising a European Standard in 4 parts which is going to be available in autumn 2012. The EC has indicated its willingness to acknowledge them at this stage as a way of supporting compliance of biofuels and bioliquids with the Renewable Energy Directive.

The European Standard EN 16214 has been developed by CEN/TC 383 as follows:

  • EN 16214-1:2012  Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications - Principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers for biofuels and bioliquids - Part 1: Terminology
  • CEN/TS 16214-2:2014 Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications - Principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers for biofuels and bioliquids - Part 2: Conformity assessment including chain of custody and mass balance
  • EN 16214-3:2012 Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications - Principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers for biofuels and bioliquids - Part 3: Biodiversity and environmental aspects related to nature protection purposes
  • EN 16214-4:2013 Sustainably produced biomass for energy applications - Principles, criteria, indicators and verifiers for biofuels and bioliquids - Part 4: Calculation methods of the greenhouse gas emission balance using a life cycle analysis

Additional Links on national and international biofuels standards and regulations

Biofuel Systems Ltd table of Biodiesel Standards for Europe, Germany and USA.