Biodiesel FAQs

See the list below for answers to all your biodiesel questions.

Biodiesel fuels are commonly known as Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) or Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE). Biodiesel properties are like those of diesel fuel, as opposed to gasoline or gaseous fuels, and thus are capable of being used in compression ignition engines.

The current approved engine models are as follows:

On-Highway:  ISX, ISM, ISL, ISV5.0 and ISB engines built after January 2007.  ISX CM570 built after January 2002.

Off-Highway: QSX, QSM, QSL, QSC, QSB6.7, QSB4.5 and QSB3.3 engines built after January 2007, Cummins MerCruiser™ Diesel Marine engines produced after 01 January 2007:  B-Series, QSB, C-Series, QSC, and QSL, QSM11, QSM G-Drive, and QSF3.8

High Horsepower Off-Highway built after January 1, 2008, except Tier 4: QSK78, QSK60, QSK50, K2000E, K50, QSK45, QSK38, K1500E, K38, QST30, QSK23, QSK19 and K19.  Also, Marine QSK60, QSK50, K50 QSK45, QSK38, K38 QSK19, K19.

Cummins has approved B20 for the high horsepower engines listed above with the following fuel systems: Pressure Timed, High-Pressure Injection, Modular Common Rail Fuel Injection System and BOSCH Pump-Line-Nozzle.

Paraffinic fuels are an alternative to diesel with low Sulphur and aromatics. They are derived from a variety of sources. The most common sources include natural gas, coal, plant oils, and animal fats. Paraffinic fuel includes (1) HVO – Hydrotreated vegetable oil, (2) GTL – Gas (natural gas) to liquid, (3) STL – Solid (Coal) to liquid, (4) PTL – Power to liquid.

Fuels derived from plant oils and fats are often referred to as renewable diesel (RD) or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).  HVO is in Paraffinic fuel.  HVO is produced from biomass feedstock but it is not Biodiesel.  Renewable diesels are not the same as biodiesel or fatty acid methyl ester.

Unique characteristics of paraffin-based fuel include reduced density and increased cetane number. Paraffinic fuels have a density lower than petroleum diesels and can result in lower energy content by volume, resulting in reduced fuel economy and possible reduction in engine power

On Highway: ISB, ISL, ISF

Off Highway: QSB, QSC, QSL, QSF

Biodiesel must conform to the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) specifications.  B100 must conform to ASTM D6751 prior to blending, and the finished B20 blend must conform to ASTM D7467.

ASTM D6751 specification for B100 has been revised to now include a cold soak test. The B100 fuel is cold soaked and filtered to catch impurities or incomplete reactions resulting from the production process. The stability requirement is still in effect and is a critical requirement when B100 is blended with Petro Diesel to produce a B20 blend.

ASTM D7467 is a new specification which applies to biodiesel blends of B6 – B20 and includes an oxidation stability requirement.  This specification replaces Cummins’ previous Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) B20 specification requirement.

In Europe, specifications for biodiesel are issued under EN 14214. EN 14214 is published by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization or Comate Europeen de Normalization.

Equivalent biodiesel specifications are required internationally.

Customers are required to purchase the biodiesel blend from a BQ9000 Certified Marketer. The B100 fuel used in the blend must be sourced from a BQ9000 Accredited Producer. BQ9000 Certified Marketers and Accredited Producers can be found at

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