Diesel fuel quality standard
The use of oil burn systems in diesel vehicles can potentially breach section 20 of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 if the addition of oil to the diesel within the engine results in the diesel not complying with the Fuel Standard (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001.
As the Australian Government is committed to international best practice regulation of fuel quality, it has been decided not to amend the determination to allow the use of oil burn systems in any diesel vehicles operating in Australia.
It is considered that there is enough concern about the potential impacts on sulfur levels in diesel from the addition of used motor oil to warrant this decision.
- Management of Diesel Oil Burn Systems - position paper
The first suite of national fuel standards, which came into force on 1 January 2002, regulates petrol and diesel parameters that have a direct impact on the environment ('environmental standards').
The standards will have a major impact on the amount of toxic pollutants in vehicle emissions, such as benzene and particles, with studies estimating reductions of up to 50 per cent for some pollutants over 20 years. This is great news for our health, with cleaner air helping to reduce the number of serious respiratory illnesses and asthma cases, particularly in children.
A second suite of national fuel standards came into force on 16 October 2002. These standards ('operability standards') address those parameters of diesel that do not have a direct impact on emissions but, if not controlled, can have adverse impacts on the efficient operation of the engine.
Further operability standards are being developed that may include:
- for diesel - the parameters are appearance, acidity, cloud point and cold filter plugging point.
The environmental and operability standards are consolidated in the following tables. The legal instrument implementing the standard is:
|Parameter||National standard||Date of effect||Test Method|
|Biodiesel 1||5.0% volume by volume (max)||1-Mar-09||EN 14078|
|Sulfur||500 ppm (max)||31-Dec-02||ASTM D5453|
|50 ppm (max)||1-Jan-06|
|10 ppm (max)||1-Jan-09|
|Cetane Index||46 (min) index||1-Jan-02||ASTM D4737|
|Derived Cetane Number (of diesel containing biodiesel)||51.0 (min)||21-Feb-09||ASTM D6890|
|Density||820 (min) to 860 (max) kg/m3||1-Jan-02||ASTM D1298|
|820 (min) to 850 (max) kg/m3||1-Jan-06|
|Distillation T95||370°C (max)||1-Jan-02||ASTM D86|
|Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)||11% m/m (max)||1-Jan-06||IP391|
|Ash||100 ppm (max)||1-Jan-02||ASTM D482|
|Viscosity||2.0 to 4.5 cSt @ 40°C||1-Jan-02||ASTM D445|
|Carbon Residue (10% distillation residue)||0.2 mass % max||16-Oct-02||ASTM D4530|
|Water and sediment||0.05 vol % max||16-Oct-02||ASTM D2709|
|Water (all diesel containing biodiesel)||200 mg/kg (max)||21-Feb-09||ASTM 6304|
|Conductivity @ ambient temp||50 pS/m (Min) @ambient temp (all diesel held by a terminal or refinery for sale or distribution)||16-Oct-02||ASTM D2624|
|Oxidation Stability||25 mg/L max||16-Oct-02||ASTM D2274|
|Colour||2 max||16-Oct-02||ASTM D1500|
|Copper Corrosion (3 hrs @ 50°C)||Class 1 max||16-Oct-02||ASTM D130|
|Flash point||61.5°C min||16-Oct-02||ASTM D93|
|Filter blocking tendency||2.0 max||16-Oct-02||IP 387|
|Lubricity||0.460 mm (max) (all diesel containing less than 500 ppm sulfur)||16-Oct-02||IP 450|
The information contained on this page is of a general nature only and should be read in conjunction with the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000, Fuel Quality Standards Regulations 2001 and the Fuel Standard (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001. Fuel suppliers may wish to seek legal advice about their obligations under this legislation.
New E85 fuel quality and fuel quality information standards
A fuel quality standard and a fuel quality information (labelling) standard have been made for E85 automotive fuel. The new E85 standards commence on 1 November 2012.