AGQM round robin testing set to begin

By Erin Voegele | March 30, 2011

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Qualitätsmanagement Biodiesel e.V. (AGQM) organizes round robin testing for FAME and rapeseed oil fuel in Europe annually. The 2011 testing period is about to begin.

According to AGQM, round robins for verifying test methods and the accuracy of the work of professional laboratories have a long and successful tradition with Fachausschuss Mineralöl- und Brennstoffnormung (FAM), the Mineral Oil and Fuels Standardization Committee within DIN. Increasing use of biofuel and biogenic mixing components increasingly requires round robins for these products as well, AGQM said. To complete the testing, AGQM, in close cooperation with FAM, organizes annually round robin tests for analytical systems of biodiesel and rapeseed oil fuels as part of its quality assurance system.

“The goal of the round robin test is to give the participating laboratories evidence of their competence to execute measurements in a satisfactory fashion concerning the requirements set by accreditation rules,” said AGQM spokeswoman Daren Witt. “The international standard (EN) ISO 17025 asks for such evidence, which confirms successful participation in round robin tests. The participants get information if their testing is in compliance with the provisions of the test method.” For example, participating entities are able to determine if they meet the requirements of repeatability. According to Witt, duplicate measurements are mandatory as a general requirement of the round robin.

The round robin testing provides external evidence for a laboratory to demonstrate its ability to execute a test successfully within the requested reproducibility of the test method, Witt continued. “In order to establish this proof, the reproducibility according to (EN) ISO 4259 is calculated after the outlier detection, and each laboratory can judge…their performance by inspecting their distance from the sample means,” she said. “This makes round robin testing an important part of internal quality management.”

Round robin testing also allows the performance of a particular testing method to be verified. “Such investigations are important when the method is used in cases of disputed product quality,” Witt said. “In these cases it is often essential to show that the used test method is indeed applicable, and it performance is current state of the art. The precision information obtained in such round robin exercises can also indicate otherwise unnoticed change in test method performance, thus giving information to the test method writers about the potential needs for updating and improving test procedure.”

The testing for FAME and rapeseed oil fuel is completed once per year, and has been ongoing since 2008. According to Witt, two samples of FAME and two samples of rapeseed oil are analyzed in duplicate measures. Each laboratory can choose to participate in either the FAME or rapeseed oil fuel component of the program alone, or in both. A total of 61 entities participated in 2010.

AGQM members and participants in the international certification system Biodiesel Production AGQM Certified (BPACT) AGQM are required to participate in the round robin testing. Other production plant laboratories and commercial laboratories can participate as well. Interested parties must register to participate by April 8 by emailing


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