The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc (JAMA), a nonprofit industry association comprising fourteen manufacturers of passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles in Japan, recently issued position statements on and recommended specifications for bioethanol and biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME).
Experts from JAMA visited six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to share their recommended specifications of the two first-generation biofuels. JAMA is proposing that the ASEAN countries follow its recommended specifications to ensure appropriate quality of biofuels and their smooth introduction into the market.
JAMA endorses the use of FAME-blended diesel as well as ethanol-blended gasoline and believes it imperative that they have quality equivalent to the conventional gasoline or diesel fuel so that satisfactory safety and emission performance of vehicles can be achieved.
To this end, clear and harmonized fuel quality standards, which ensure vehicle and engine compatibility, and ‘fit-for-purpose’ specifications for bio-fuels are necessary, JAMA says. At the same time, appropriate handling rules to assure their quality control in the distribution process and quality-monitoring scheme to eliminate improperly prepared FAME-blended diesel and ethanol-blended gasoline from the market are also required.
Blending and fueling. For the use of FAME-blended diesel as conventional diesel fuel for vehicles, JAMA recommends a blending ratio of maximum 5% (B5), provided that FAME before blending is added with oxidation stability enhancing additives to secure its quality. Except for vehicles specially designed and operated by fleet users with special vehicle management qualification, JAMA does not recommend exceeding 5% FAME content.
In the event where diesel fuel with a high FAME content is to be introduced widely, JAMA strongly recommends the use of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) or BTL (biomass to liquid) as blendstocks.
For the use of ethanol-blended gasoline as conventional gasoline for vehicles, JAMA recommends a blending ratio of maximum 10% (E10). Similarly, JAMA does not recommend the use of ethanol-blended gasoline of more than 10% ethanol content except for vehicles specially designed so or for flexible-fuel vehicles.
However, so long as in-use vehicles that are incompatible with ethanol-blended gasoline remain in the market, it is necessary to keep supplying conventional gasoline at some of the fuelling pumps. The materials of these vehicles’ fuel systems are not compatible with ethanol, and the use of ethanol-blended gasoline may result in leakage of fuel, JAMA says.
To prevent misfueling of vehicles that are incompatible with FAME-blended diesel (of a high FAME content) or ethanol-blended gasoline, it is also necessary that the fueling pumps of these fuels have to be labelled clearly indicating their specific FAME or ethanol content, JAMA says.
Specifications. The Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC), originally drafted in 1998, details quality specifications for fuels recommended by the world auto industry. The WWFC specifications have been revised to comply with strengthened emission regulations. Together with three other industry associations from America and Europe, JAMA drafted up the WWFC specifications as well as the ‘WWFC Bio-fuels Guidelines’.
JAMA believes that the WWFC ‘Guidelines for B100 Blendstock for use in up to B5 Blends’ and ‘Guidelines for E100 Blendstock for use in up to E10 Blends’ issued in March 2009 will contribute towards the optimization and global harmonization of biofuels specifications in the various countries. JAMA drafted the ‘JAMA Recommendation on FAME (B100) Specification for up to B5 Blends’ as well as ‘JAMA Recommendation on bio-ethanol (E100) Specification for up to E10 Blends’ specifically suited for the climate in ASEAN region based on the ‘Guidelines’, and attached these recommendations to its position statements on bio-fuels quality.