Special biodiesel quality for use in commercial vehicles, tractors and buses

The increased use of biodiesel (FAME - fatty acid methyl ester) as a pure fuel in those applications where liquid fuels cannot be replaced in the short term is an important contribution to tackle the climate crisis. The AGQM guideline for a B100 specification defines product properties of FAME for use as a pure fuel. These are intended to ensure the functionality of engines and vehicles and to enable manufacturers to release further vehicles for use with B100.

Road transport accounts for about two-thirds of the EU's total transport-related CO2 emissions. A rapid reduction in this area is therefore particularly important for the climate targets that the EU has set itself, and the use of all available options (electromobility, biofuels and other renewable fuels) is necessary. In particular, the use of GHG-reduced fuels plays an important role in the existing fleet, but also in areas that are difficult to electrify, such as road freight transport.

Currently, various engines, commercial vehicles, buses, and tractors are approved for use with B100 or B20/B30 (diesel fuel with a blend of 20% or 30% FAME) and are listed in a corresponding approval list published by the associations AGQM (Association Quality Management Biodiesel), MVaK (German Waste-based Biofuels Association), UFOP (Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants) and VDB (Association of the German Biofuel Industry).

Nevertheless, the use of B100 is sometimes considered critical due to the continuously tightened emission limits. The reason for this is the possible content of ash formers in biodiesel, such as alkaline and alkaline earth metals as well as phosphorus. Although these are already limited in the biodiesel standard EN 14214, the limits are considered too high by some engine and vehicle manufacturers. With the introduction of Euro 7, the emission limits will further be tightened and the functionality of the exhaust aftertreatment system will probably have to be guaranteed over the entire life cycle. This sets new kinds of demands on the exhaust gas aftertreatment system, which can only be met through the consistent use of particularly high-quality fuels.

This guideline is therefore intended to define product properties of FAME for use as a pure fuel that go beyond the requirements of EN 14214. The defined limit values are intended to ensure the functional capability of engines and vehicles and of their exhaust gas aftertreatment systems. At the same time, this creates a basis on which the engine and vehicle manufacturers can release their vehicles for use with B100.

In addition to the approvals by the manufacturers, the quality of the biodiesel used is a decisive factor if vehicles are operated with B100. The requirements of the guideline were derived from the annual unannounced investigations of German and Austrian biodiesel producers and traders who are members of AGQM. The results of the investigations are published anonymously in the AGQM's annual quality report. It has been shown that the FAME quality produced is significantly better than that prescribed by EN 14214.

"Therefore, when purchasing biodiesel, make sure that the producer or trader is a member of AGQM. This way you can ensure that they comply with the AGQM quality management system and that more than the current requirements of EN 14214 are met across production, transport as well as trade," recommends Dr. Richard Wicht, Managing Director of AGQM.

The guideline, the approval list and the quality reports can be found on the AGQM homepage (www.agqm-biodiesel.de) under the section Downloads.


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