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ACE applauds ASTM standard for high-octane fuel use

Sioux Falls, SD (March 16, 2017) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) welcomes a recently published ASTM International standard, which creates a broadly accepted specification for high-octane fuel that could help not only drive innovation in the auto industry, as cars with higher performance engines are introduced into the global marketplace, but growth within the ethanol industry, as these engines can utilize ethanol’s powerful octane boost with fuel blends between 25 and 40 percent.

This new standard (D8076-17, Specification for 100 Research Octane Number Test Fuel for Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines) follows a year-long joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy, engine manufacturers, agricultural supporters and others who contributed to ASTM International and the committee that developed the standard, Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants.

The standard defines a test fuel that can be used by engine designers throughout the global auto industry. “By itself, it might seem like we just got a high-octane test fuel approved, but the process indicates automakers are serious about moving toward higher compression, high-efficiency engines that require high-octane fuel, and could benefit from the specific type of high octane offered by ethanol,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE senior vice president. “This new ASTM standard shows that we are making progress toward a future where ethanol’s value as a source of affordable octane is recognized, and it is a visible example of why it's important that we're involved in that group.”

Lamberty represents ACE as a member on ASTM’s D02 committee and has encouraged involvement from ACE membership. “We've encouraged many of our members to join ASTM to take part in developing standards that are important to the ethanol industry,” Lamberty said. “ACE thanks members who have got involved in ASTM and have helped make these things happen.”

Key to this standard’s approval was the ongoing efforts of an established work group (subcommittee D02A) and the members of the Ag-Auto-Ethanol Alliance who contributed. The subcommittee had the objective of balloting the specification at committee D02. As requested by the AAE Alliance in December 2015, technical representatives sought to initiate the development of an ASTM test fuel specification for 100 research octane number (RON) fuel that contains upwards of 25 to 40 percent ethanol.

The AAE work group selected Bob McCormick of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory as the technical lead, working diligently over the past year to provide compelling evidence needed for what could be the fuel for the future. “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,” McCormick stated in a release.

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