Voluntary BQ-9000 programs pay off for participants, industry
When U.S. biodiesel production began to take off back in 2005, the fledgling industry quickly became familiar with fuel quality issues and concerns. The BQ-9000 quality assurance programs have since been a major contributor to the now phenomenal fuel quality we have come to expect from commercial suppliers.
“Implementing BQ-9000 and getting accredited is a lot of work, but we find following BQ-9000 structure and rules really helps manage and run Thumb BioEnergy,” said Leon Jackson of Thumb BioEnergy, a small biodiesel producer in Sandusky, Mich. “It has really helped us maximize production and optimize the quality of our fuel. I would highly recommend becoming a BQ-9000-certified producer.”
The BQ-9000 quality assurance programs are designed to help ensure that the biodiesel fuel produced, blended, and distributed throughout the U.S. meets and is maintained against the appropriate ASTM specifications. There are currently three voluntary programs developed for producers, fuel marketers and independent laboratories. While these are not product quality certification programs, they ensure the individual companies follow the necessary policies and procedures to maintain the fuel throughout the process by a checklist of independently audited procedures.
The efforts to expand the programs have been largely successful with more than 87 percent of biodiesel produced in 2013 originating from a BQ-9000-certified producer. As the program continues to evolve and improve, there is interest from OEMs and the industry in an expansion of the program to the retail level to further enhance consumer confidence in biodiesel.
For more information on the programs, visit www.bq-9000.org.