New Specification Supports 100 Octane Fuel

A new ASTM International standard that supports 100 octane fuel could help drive innovation in the auto industry as cars with higher-performance engines are introduced into the global marketplace. 

This new standard responds to a years-long effort by engine manufacturers and others to create a broadly accepted specification for this higher-octane fuel which can withstand higher compressions before igniting, thus extracting more energy from a given quantity of fuel.

The new standard (D8076, Specification for 100 Research Octane Number Test Fuel for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines) was developed by a leading global standards organization, ASTM International, and its committee on petroleum products, liquid fuels, and lubricants (D02).

ASTM International member Robert McCormick notes that car engine manufacturers are looking to reduce gasoline consumption by developing engines with: higher compression ratios, higher power densities, increase turbocharger boost pressures, smaller swept displacement volume (downsizing), and lower engine speeds (downspeeding).

“Engines that use these technologies require a significantly higher octane fuel than what is widely available to consumers today to achieve their full efficiency potential,” says McCormick, principal engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “Automakers must design their engines to operate on a common fuel that is broadly available in the marketplace, and this new specification is a crucial step toward commercialization.”

The new standard will help define a test fuel that all engine designers throughout the global auto industry can use. It could also help specify fuels for fleet trials of prototype vehicles.

In 2015, after reviewing government and industry efforts to improve spark-ignition engine design, car engine manufacturers asked ASTM International’s subcommittee on gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends (D02.A0.01), part of D02, to develop the new standard. 

ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants Next Meeting: June 25-29, Boston, Mass.
Technical Contact: Robert McCormick, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colo., tel +1.303.275.4432
ASTM Staff Contact: Alyson Fick, tel +1.610.832.9710

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