The American Society for Testing and Materials’s (ASTM) biodiesel specifications are expected to bolster automaker support and consumer demand for biodiesel.

The specifications include changes to the existing B100 biodiesel blend stock specification (ASTM D6751), finished specifications to include up to 5% biodiesel (B5) in the conventional petrodiesel specification (ASTM D975), a new specification for blends of between 6% biodiesel (B6) and 20% biodiesel (B20) for on and off road diesel.

Automakers and engine manufacturers have been requesting a finished blend specification for B20 biodiesel blends for several years, with some citing the need for these specifications as the single greatest hurdle preventing their full-scale acceptance of B20 use in their diesel vehicles.

The approval of ASTM specifications for inclusion of up to 5% biodiesel (B5) in the regular diesel fuel pool also means that biodiesel could soon become more readily available at retail fueling stations across the US.

The ASTM International Main Committee has also approved a fourth set of specifications for inclusion of B5 biodiesel in heating oil. Marketed as Bioheat, biodiesel is reportedly gaining popularity as a home heating oil, particularly in the northeast US.