NBB makes changes to BQ-9000 criteria

By | April 06, 2007
As the biodiesel industry continues its unprecedented growth to meet demand, it becomes more challenging to enforce fuel quality standards. For this reason, the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (NBAC) recently revised its BQ-9000 accreditation and certification program.

In an effort to enhance the overall efficiency of the program-a voluntary quality control program that assists biodiesel producers and marketers in following strict testing procedures compliant to ASTM D-6751 specifications-over 30 revisions were outlined by the National Biodiesel Board, the governing body of the NBAC. Some of the most notable changes are two separate documents for biodiesel marketers and producers to follow, as opposed to just one that was available in the past.

Another revision involves the overall strengthening of laboratory testing and facilities, ensuring that test methods are precise and that equipment is properly maintained and used. The third major change involves increasing the amount and lengths of audits conducted in a given year. Formerly, an auditor conducted a survey of the premises and operations of a biodiesel plant in one day, resulting in a certification for two years. Now, the company will receive an initial audit after certification that will last three years, in addition to random surveillance audits every year.

"There are customers who are asking for biodiesel that is produced by a BQ-9000 company or is distributed by a BQ-9000 company, and it's providing some market preferences for fuel from those types of operations," said Leland Tong, chairman of the NBAC.
There are currently 17 accredited biodiesel producers and six certified biodiesel marketers, which account for 40 percent of the biodiesel production capacity in the United States. In addition, half of the states in the country have implemented the ASTM D-6751 specification as part of their fuel quality regulations, and an additional 13 states are either planning to accept the specification or studying it. Ten states now proactively test biodiesel or biodiesel-blended fuels.
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