ASTM revises jet fuel standard to allow biodiesel blends

February 4, 2015 |

In Pennsylvania, a new revision to ASTM International’s Aviation Turbine Fuel Standard (ASTM D1655) safely adapts to the growing global presence of biodiesel in the petroleum industry.

D1655 has been used for decades by the aviation community to help ensure quality control and safe distribution of jet fuel. Biodiesel blends – which have a small percentage of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) – increasingly use the same distribution systems (e.g., shipping containers, pipelines, etc.) as jet fuel. After biodiesel is transported through a distribution system, there is a possibility that traces of FAME may be picked up by jet fuel, which later uses that same distribution system.

The initial response to the introduction of biodiesels into the marketplace was to maintain an undetectable level of FAME contamination in jet fuel. Due to the costs associated with that requirement and the rising presence of biofuels worldwide, industry experts studied whether the level of allowable FAME in jet fuel could be increased without compromising safety nor adversely affecting aircraft operation. As a result, the revised standard safely increases the allowable cross-contamination of FAME in jet fuel from 5.0 parts per million to 50 parts per million.

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