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Auto manufacturers propose fifth edition of Worldwide Fuel Charter

7 January 2013

Last December, vehicle and engine manufacturers released a proposed fifth edition of the Worldwide Fuel Charter (WWFC) for stakeholder review. Comments on the documents are accepted by the end of February 2013.

The proposed fifth edition of the Charter introduces a new Category 5 of gasoline and diesel fuels for markets with the highest requirements for emission control and fuel efficiency. Revisions are also proposed to Category 4 fuel specifications, intended for markets with the highest emission control requirements.

The new Category 5 raises the minimum gasoline research octane number (RON) to 95—from 91 in Category 4—to allow some technologies that can help increase vehicle and engine efficiency.

For diesel fuel, Category 5 establishes a hydrocarbon-only specification that allows hydrocarbon biofuels (e.g., hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) or biomass-to-liquid (BTL)), while disallowing ester-based biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME). The Category 5 FAME specification is proposed as ‘non detectable’, at or below detection limit of the test method used.

Category 4, which in the fourth (2006) edition of the WWFC disallowed biodiesel, will now allow up to 5% FAME in diesel fuel, the same content that has been allowed in Category 1-3 diesel fuels.

Other changes from the previous edition include a new test method for trace metals, an updated gasoline volatility table and more updates relating to biofuels, including ethanol and other alternatives to petroleum-based fuels. The Charter also now references the E100 and B100 Guidelines published by the WWFC Committee in 2009.

The WWFC, first released in 1998, provides specifications for automotive fuels that are desired to harmonize fuel quality worldwide in accordance with the needs of vehicle and emission control technologies. The WWFC is published by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA).

Source: ACEA