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Biodiesel & E85 fuel requirements

Introduction

This is a summary of the State of Oregon’s biofuel (biodiesel, biodiesel blends, and E85 Fuel Ethanol) quality specification, delivery documentation, dispenser, and dispenser (“pump”) labeling regulations. 
 
Please refer to Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 603-027-0410 through OAR 603-027-0490 for the complete regulations. 
 
In addition, we try to answer some common questions about dispensers permitted for use with biofuels.  Due to the unique characteristics of these fuels, certain precautions must be taken.  Some dispensers commonly used for gasoline and petroleum diesel are not designed to be used for biodiesel and E85 Fuel Ethanol.

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Biodiesel

Biodiesel fuel specifications
Biodiesel (B100), biodiesel intended for blending (B99), biodiesel blends, and petroleum diesel must meet the following ASTM International specifications:
1. Petroleum diesel must meet the requirements of ASTM D 975, Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils.
2. The biodiesel blend stock (B100 or B99) must
a. Meet the requirements of ASTM D 6751, Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate Fuels.
b. Have a Certificate of Analysis for each batch or production lot produced in or after importation into Oregon prior to blending, sale, or offer for sale.  The Certificate of Analysis is required to document that, at a minimum, the biodiesel was tested and complied with all of the following specifications:
i. Flash point (ASTM D 93)
ii. Acid number (ASTM D 664)
iii. Cloud point (ASTM D 2500)
iv. Water and sediment (ASTM D 2709)
v. Visual appearance (ASTM D 4176)
vi. Free glycerin (ASTM D 6584)
vii. Total glycerin (ASTM D 6584)
viii. Oxidation stability (EN 14112 as per ASTM D 6751)
ix. Sulfur (ASTM D 5453 or ASTM D 7039).
c. Have a Certification of Feedstock origination describing the percent of the biodiesel’s feedstock grown or produced within the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana and that produced outside of the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
3. Biodiesel may be blended with diesel fuel whose sulfur, lubricity, or aromatic levels are outside specification ASTM D 975, Standard Specification for Diesel Fuel Oils, grades 1-D S15, 1-D S500, 2-D S15, or 2-D S5000, provided the finished product mixture meets pertinent national and local specifications and requirements for these properties.
 

Biodiesel fuel dispensers ("pumps")
The dispenser or “pump” used to deliver biodiesel and its blends is required to be
  • a legal-for-trade, National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved (verified with a Certificate of Conformance) dispenser designed for petroleum No. 2 diesel fuel,
  • correctly calibrated with the actual blend of biodiesel being dispensed, and
  • licensed through the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Weights and Measures Program.  
Unless clearly indicated otherwise on the NTEP CC, an NTEP approved diesel dispenser is only approved to a maximum 20% biodiesel blend (B20 Biodiesel Blend).

IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
  “Blending” dispensers are dispensers that take two different grades of motor fuel and are capable of forming a third intermediate grade inside of the dispenser at the time of sale.

A blending dispenser used for the blending of biodiesel must be NTEP approved as a blending dispenser for that particular product, and the product’s blend percentage must not exceed that allowed by the NTEP CC.  As with any commercial measuring device, check with the device manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the proper usage of the device.
 

Identification of biodiesel
Biodiesel and biodiesel blends must be identified by the capital letter “B” followed by the numerical value representing the volume percentage of biodiesel in the blend.  For example, “B10”, “B20”, “B99”, “B100”.
 

Biodiesel fuel delivery documentation
An invoice, bill of lading, shipping paper, or other documentation, must accompany each delivery of fuel other than a sale by a retail or nonretail dealer (e.g. cardlock) to a consumer.  

The delivery documentation is required to state the actual volume percent biodiesel in the fuel.  For example, “B2 Biodiesel Blend”, “B5 Biodiesel Blend”, "B20 Biodiesel Blend”, etc., for the specific volume percent of biodiesel in that particular delivery of fuel.  

For biodiesel blends up to and including 5 volume percent, the delivery documentation must state the amount of biodiesel in the blend to the nearest 1.0 volume percent.
For biodiesel blends greater than 5 volume percent up to and including 20 volume percent, the delivery documentation must state the  amount of biodiesel in the blend to the nearest 2.0 volume percent.

Labeling of biodiesel dispensers
The required labeling of biodiesel dispensers depends upon the volume percent of biodiesel in the fuel.  If labeling is required, it must be located on the upper half of the dispenser’s front panels in a position that is clear and conspicuous from the driver’s position and in type that is at least 1/2 inch in height and 1/16 inch in stroke (width of type).  The requirements are as follows:
Biodiesel blends of 5% or less.  No additional biodiesel labeling is required.  However, if a dispenser is labeled with any reference to biodiesel and the fuel contains 5% or less biodiesel, then it must be labeled, “5% Or Less Biodiesel Blend”.

Biodiesel blends of more than 5% but not more than 20%.  The dispensers must be labeled in one of three ways:
 
1. The capital letter “B” followed by the numerical value representing the volume percentage of biodiesel fuel and ending with the phrase, “Biodiesel Blend”.  For example, “B10 Biodiesel Blend”, “B20 Biodisel Blend”, etc.; or

2. The phrase, “Biodiesel Blend Between 5% and 20%” or similar words; or

3. With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved label [Reference 16 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 306.12 and Appendix A].  The FTC label has a header statement in the top and a text statement in the lower portion.  These labels are a specific size and have a blue (PMS 277 or equivalent) background.  All type and borders are process black and all colors must be non-fade.  These labels are somewhat similar in appearance to a typical octane sticker on a gasoline pump. 
 
These labels are available in two versions.

1. One with the header that states the specific volume percent of biodiesel in the blend.  For example, “B20 Biodiesel Blend”.  With this label, the fuel must contain the actual amount of biodiesel stated.

2. The other with the header that states simply, “Biodiesel Blend”.  With this label, the fuel may contain between 5% through 20% biodiesel in the blend.

The text statement in the lower portion of both versions is the same and reads as follows; “contains biomass-based diesel or biodiesel in quantities between 5 percent and 20 percent”.


Biodiesel blends more than 20%.  The dispensers must be labeled with the volume percent of biodiesel in the blend.  The label must display the capital letter “B” followed by the numerical value of representing the volume percent of biodiesel in the blend and ending with the phrase, “Biodiesel Blend” or “Biodiesel”, whichever is appropriate.  For example, “B30 Biodiesel Blend”, “B60 Biodiesel Blend”, “B99.9 Biodiesel Blend”, “B100 Biodiesel”, etc.
 

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E85 fuel ethanol

E85 Fuel Ethanol is a blend of denatured ethanol and gasoline in which the ethanol is nominally 75% to 85% denatured ethanol (Reference ASTM D 5798).  It is not “gasoline”.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: 
Only ethanol-gasoline blends of 10% by volume, which is still “gasoline” and has been in the marketplace for many years and E85 Fuel Ethanol are permitted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA).  Note: Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) requires specifically 10% by volume ethanol be blended into gasoline with only eleven very specific exceptions.

Any ethanol-gasoline blends between 10% ethanol blended gasoline and E85 Fuel Ethanol is in violation of Federal law.  Thus, ethanol-gasoline blends such as “E20”, “E30”, “E40”, or some other ratio are not permitted.  This is a Federal law and any questions regarding this must be addressed to the U.S. EPA.

There are numerous reports that this law may be changed but as of this posting, only 10% ethanol-gasoline blends and E85 Fuel Ethanol are permitted spark-ignition motor fuels.

E85 Fuel Ethanol may be used only in automobiles designed and approved by the manufacturer as flex fuel vehicles.
 

E85 fuel ethanol specifications
E85 Fuel Ethanol must meet the 2011 Edition of ASTM D 5798, Standard Specification for Fuel Ethanol (Ed75-Ed85) for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines.
 

E85 fuel ethanol dispensers
E85 Fuel Ethanol has very different properties than standard gasoline or 10% ethanol-gasoline blends.  It can have major impact on certain metals, rubber, PVC, etc.  Thus, the equipment used to dispense E85 Fuel Ethanol must be compatible with this product.

Oregon currently requires that commercially used weighing and measuring devices have a National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) Certificate of Conformance (CC) for the particular application of the device and.  this requirement includes E85 Fuel Ethanol. 



(Note:  Neither the State of Oregon nor the agency endorse or sponsor the products, services, or information provided by this link; this information is provided for reference only.)

These preparations include but are not limited to replacing piping, seals, delivery hose, and nozzle with high ethanol content compatible components and installing an effective 1-micron ethanol fuel filter.  The 1-micron ethanol fuel filter is especially important and Weights and Measures Program requires that this filter be mounted downstream of the dispenser’s meter and just prior to the delivery hose except when used with vapor recover dispenser systems where these system must be functional at all times.  In these instances, the 1-micron filter may be mounted such that they do not interfere with the required vapor recover system and yet still be effective.

According to the U.S. DOE, these 1-micron ethanol fuel filters cost two to four times more than the standard gasoline filter but that they are well worth the investment.  It is in the best interest of the consumers and businesses that E85 Fuel Ethanol is high quality and free of contaminants.  The last thing anyone needs is to cause damage to a vehicle or to their own equipment, in addition to all of the other consequential costs.  

Weights and measures jurisdictions in other states have permitted similar allowances and have experienced a variety of compliance issues with meter performance.  Due to this, ODA Weights and Measures Program will conduct unannounced re-examinations approximately every six months of non-ethanol approved dispensers used for E85 Fuel Ethanol until either 1) the dispensers have proven their reliability holding prescribed tolerances or 2) they have been removed from service.

Unless clearly indicated on the NTEP CC, an NTEP approved gasoline dispenser is only approved to a maximum of 15% ethanol blended with gasoline or “E15”.  However, it is important to note that at this time, E15 is not approved by the U.S. EPA as a motor fuel.  Blending dispensers used for the blending of gasoline-ethanol blends to form other grades must be NTEP approved as a blending dispenser for that particular product and, furthermore, that product’s blend percentage must not exceed that allowed by the NTEP CC.  As with any commercial measuring device, check with the device manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the proper usage of the device.

There are many reports circulating from well meaning individuals and organizations, and even from some government agencies that these requirements and NTEP approvals have changed or do not apply.  Contact the ODA Weights and Measures Program for the correct information prior to taking any action.

As with any fuel dispensing system, it is important that the E85 Fuel Ethanol dispenser is issued an active Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) approval.  It is the responsibility of the E85 Fuel Ethanol device owner to assure it complies with UL standards and is UL approved for dispensing E85 Fuel Ethanol.

It is also important for the owners of E85 Fuel Dispensers to check with the State of Oregon Fire Marshall’s Office, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and other state and local authorities prior to taking delivery and operation of E85 Fuel Ethanol.

It is emphasized that utilization of an NTEP and UL approved E85 Fuel Ethanol dispenser system is far preferred and will likely provide much better service over time than a dispenser that was not designed nor NTEP and UL approved for E85 Fuel Ethanol.

E85 fuel ethanol dispenser labeling
Each retail and non-retail (e.g., cardlock) dispensers of E85 Fuel Ethanol shall be labeled in type that is at least 1/2 inch in height and 1/16 inch stroke (width of type). Labeling must be posted on the upper 50% of the dispenser front panels in a position that is clear and conspicuous from the driver’s position. Labeling must state:

• “E85 Ethanol”
• “For Use in Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFV) Only”

In addition, dispensers shall be labeled with the E85 label required by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 16 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 306, that states,

• “E85  MINIMUM 70% ETHANOL

This label has process black border and Helvetica black type with PMS 1495 orange or equivalent background.  This label is somewhat similar in appearance to gasoline octane labels.

Be aware, other “promotional” type labels are available and may lend to marketing of E85 Fuel Ethanol, however, some do not contain the required language nor the correct size of lettering.
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Consumer information

Consumers need to check with their vehicle manufacturer for the acceptable fuel to use.
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Summary

The State of Oregon has adopted motor fuel quality standards for biodiesel, biodiesel blends, and E85 Fuel Ethanol with specific labeling and equipment requirements for the fuel dispensers.  To accommodate consumer and industry desires, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Weights and Measures Program will allow National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) approved diesel dispensers to deliver biodiesel and biodiesel blends up to and including B20 Biodiesel Blend, and NTEP approved gasoline dispensers  to be used for E85 Fuel Ethanol provided certain conditions specified above are met.  By doing so, this will allow these biofuel products to be sold and utilized immediately in Oregon’s marketplace.  

However, due to the characteristics of biodiesel and E85 Fuel Ethanol, dispensers used for the blending of these products are required to have an NTEP CC allowing both the blending of that product and used with the blending percentages covered by the NTEP CC.  As with any fuel dispenser, it is important that the dispenser have an active Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) approval for the manner in which it is being used.

We hope that this information is helpful.  If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact our office at 503-986-4670 or via e-mail to msd-info@oda.state.or.us.

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