The Automotive Industry’s Views of the Standards for Plant Oil-Based Fuels

  • Sven-Oliver Koßmehl
  • Hartmut Heinrich
Conference paper


Plant oil methyl ester (PME), produced in Germany from rapeseed oil, has to date been the only alternative fuel produced from plant oil that has been able to acquire a certain standing on the diesel fuel market. The use of this fuel, known as Biodiesel, is associated with a number of environmental advantages. VOLKSWAGEN has consequently decided to promote the use of this alternative fuel by releasing a wide range of diesel-engined vehicles for operation with Biodiesel. Such releases necessitate not only major changes in the materials used throughout the fuel system but also the use of grades of PME which satisfy all the requirements of DIN 51 606.

This publication is intended to highlight those quality criteria to which particular attention must be paid when using Biodiesel and the possible consequences of non-compliance.Water content, glycerine and glyceride content, iodine number, phosphorus content, flash point and low temperature behaviour are of particular significance in this connection. The relatively frequent breakdowns of vehicles in the field which have occurred in the past and been attributed to low quality grades of PME would indicate that improvements in quality assurance during production and distribution are called for.


Diesel Engine Phosphorus Content Alternative Fuel Iodine Number Cetane Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sven-Oliver Koßmehl
    • 1
  • Hartmut Heinrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Research, Environment and TransportationVolkswagen AGWolfsburgGermany

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