New European B20/B30 biodiesel standard published

A new B20/B30 European fuel standard for fleets has been published, but it doesn't mean higher blends will be offered overnight
By Ron Kotrba | December 16, 2015

After four years of technical committee discussions in the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), a new standard has been published for use of B20 and B30 biodiesel blends in fleets.

This month, the German Institute for Standardization (DIN) published the new standard, titled DIN EN 16709, allowing use of biodiesel blends up to 20 or 30 percent, depending on the engine type and manufacturer warranty, in so-called closed vehicle fleets.

The current diesel fuel standard, DIN EN 590, only allows up to 7 percent biodiesel.

The new B20/B30 standard for fleets is contingent upon the biodiesel portion meeting the B100 European standard (EN 14214), similar to how the U.S. standard for B6 to B20 blends (ASTM D7467) requires the biodiesel portion to meet the U.S. B100 quality standard (ASTM D6751).

“The introduction of this standard does not mean that overnight in the EU B20 or B30 can be offered,” Dieter Bockey with Germany-based Union for the Promotion of Oil and Protein Plants (UFOP) told Biodiesel Magazine. “Now the biodiesel industry is also asked to develop strategies such as demonstration projects supporting fleet usage to increase the acceptance.”

Bockey said he is skeptical this will happen and fears the opportunity will be lost.

“The EU biodiesel itself has no strategy how to come forward,” Bockey told Biodiesel Magazine. “They prefer discussing iLUC, GHG-comparators and other stuff like this.”

UFOP noted that the application of this standard is especially geared toward fleets in heavy goods vehicle (HGV) traffic. Also, not only must the approvals of vehicle manufacturers be obtained, but UFOP also stated that corresponding storage must also be ensured with respect to summer and winter quality.

“From the point of view of UFOP, the use of B20 or B30 is an important fuel option for decarbonizing the HGV traffic in view of the extremely ambitious target as part of the climate change action plan 2050 of the [German] federal government,” UFOP stated. “The introduction to using B20 and B30 is imperative in relation to this target if further, not yet identifiable economic fuel alternatives, made from recyclable materials or fuels of a non-biogenic origin (power-to-gas or power-to-liquid), are to be introduced in the long-term as a result of a competition open to technology and raw material.”