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Standardization Outlook

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Standardization Outlook

Public Version - Outlook on standardization of alternative vehicle fuels - Global, regional and national level

The use of fossil but in first hand biobased alternative fuels in transportation has increased over the last decades. This change is primarily driven by concerns about climate change that is caused by emissions of fossil carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, but also by the impact on health and environment, caused by emissions of regulated as well as non-regulated emissions from the transport sector.

Most alternative fuels will help to reduce the emissions of regulated and non-regulated emissions, while alternative fuels based on biomass also will contribute to reduced net emissions of carbon dioxide.

Since the mid 1990s, the use of biomass based fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel has reached levels high enough in for example Europe, Brazil and the U.S. to motivate national or regional specifications/standards. Especially from the vehicle/engine manufacturer’s point of view standards are of high importance. From early 2000 onwards, the international trade of biofuels (for example from Brazil to the U.S. and Europe) has grown, and this has created a need for common international specifications/standards.

This report presents information about national and regional standards for alternative fuels, but also, when existing and reported, standards on a global level are described and discussed. Ongoing work concerning new or revised standards on alternative fuels on national, regional or global level is also discussed.

In this report we have covered standards on all kind of alternative fuels, exemplified below. However, the focus is on liquid biofuels for diesel engines and Otto engines.

  • Liquid fuels for diesel engines (compression ignition engines), such as Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE), alcohols, alcohol derivates and synthetic diesel fuels.
  • Liquid fuels for Otto engines (spark ignition engines), such as alcohols, ethers and synthetic gasoline.
  • Liquefied fossil petroleum gas (LPG).
  • Di-Methyl Ether (DME).
  • Fossil methane i.e. compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • Bio methane (biogas from anaerobic fermentation or gasification of biomass), i.e. compressed biogas (CBG) and liquefied biogas (LBG).

Standardization work on alternative fuels by the following organizations/countries and organizations/regions are presented in this report:

  • APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)
  • ASTM (the U.S. and Canada)
  • Brazil
  • CEN (Europe)
  • India
  • ISO
  • Japan
  • People’s Republic of China
  • South Africa
  • Thailand

The information in this report is based on information from web sites, reports and personal contacts, enriched by the author’s expertise. The report is not, however, necessarily all-embracing.

The work on standardization is a continuous process that currently seems to be accelerating. This report gives a picture of the activities until early 2008. When reading this report please keep in mind that new initiatives may be on the agenda on a national, regional as well as a global level.

This report is produced under the framework of the International Energy Agency’s Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels (IEA/AMF) and its information Annex XXVIII. The report is IEA/AMF's latest contribution to the knowledge about standards and the ongoing work on standardization of alternative fuels.