Butanol shows strong potential to be used as a biofuel. Now, a new ASTM International standard covers butanol that is intended to be blended with gasoline at 1 to 12.5 volume percent for use as an automotive spark-ignition engine fuel. D7862, Specification for Butanol for Blending with Gasoline for Use as Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel, was developed by Subcommittee D02.A0 on Gasoline and Oxygenated Fuels, part of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants.
D7862 establishes performance requirements and test methods for butanol content, water content, acidity, inorganic chloride, solvent-washed gum, sulfur content and total sulfate.
"The new ASTM standard for butanol will further commercialization of a new renewable fuel, and provide a fuel quality standard to govern the production and marketing of butanol," says Glenn Johnston, executive vice president, regulatory affairs, Gevo Inc., and a D02 member.
Johnston says that butanol has several benefits as a blending agent in gasoline. Butanol is compatible with existing vehicles and refueling infrastructure, and it also offers a high blending value due to its low vapor pressure, high octane number and favorable distillation properties.
The D7862 specification will be used by biofuel producers, petroleum refiners, gasoline blenders, government agencies, inspection laboratories, and manufacturers of motor vehicles, marine engines and outdoor power equipment.
Johnston encourages all interested parties to join in the standards developing activities of D02.A0. The subcommittee next plans to develop a proposed standard on the use of butanol in flexible fuel vehicles.
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