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Environment

Biofuel nomenclature

January 8, 2007 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 85, ISSUE 2

The nomenclature of biodiesel fuels will become more complicated as new technologies are developed to use biological feedstocks for the development of alternative fuels. Some complications are already beginning to arise (Inform 2007, 17, 620).

There already appears to be a need to establish standards. First, anyone who uses the term "diesel" in any name of any fuel should be required to provide evidence that the fuel passes all of the industry testing standards for each category of diesel fuel implied. This requirement will only alleviate part of the safety issues involved here.

There is another nomenclature problem. Many in the growing industrial fuel community may assume that a particular technology and general process are being used, which may not be the case. Confusion and miscommunication are likely to grow if the issues are not resolved. This problem should be referred to committees of the Industrial Oil Division of the American Oil Chemists' Society; the Nomenclature, Terminology & Symbols Committee of the American Chemical Society; and to the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry. The nomenclature issue is already international. The faster the nomenclature issues are solved and standards for the new fuels are adopted, the faster commerce can be accelerated across international industry platforms to use these new feedstocks in ways few can imagine today.

Marvin B. DeTar
Wickliffe, Ohio

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