As it should be the case with every product, the consumer of fuels – may that be an engine producer, car manufacturer or simply a driver – can expect to receive a product of clearly defined and lasting high quality; thus Biodiesel is no exception to the rule.
All over the world minimum requirements for fuels are stipulated by standards. In Europe Diesel and Biodiesel are defined by standards EN 590 and EN 14214 respectively, which are implemented in Germany by the national standards DIN EN 590 and DIN EN 14214 and now – in addition – by the German B7-standard DIN 51628 since its coming into force in January 2009. Biodiesel must fulfil the requirements of DIN EN 14214, no matter if it is used as pure fuel (B100) or blend component.
There is a fundamental difference between the production of Biodiesel and that of conventional fossil fuels. In order to be able to meet the high quality expectations of the consumers, AGQM (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Qualitaetsmanagement Biodiesel e.V.) was founded in 1999 as an initiative of the German Biodiesel producers, traders and UFOP (Union zur Foerderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V.). AGQM’s central task is to induce and establish a basis for the Biodiesel users’ trust in the ‘product Biodiesel’ by the creation of a uniform and efficient quality management system and to ensure that a high and lasting quality becomes a standard all over Germany.
AGQM’s quality management concept consists of several elements. For AGQM members, the combination of checks and service proved to be an efficient package of measures for the improvement of the product quality which in turn contributed significantly to the positive development of Biodiesel quality on the German market:
• Definition of additional requirements
• Independent quality checks by external service providers
• Guidelines for internal quality checks and documentation
• Technical support and counselling
• Round Robin tests
These measures are not just restricted to the production but also comprise the trading as well as the transport of Biodiesel. All AGQM member companies (producers and traders) commit themselves to the observance of the strict requirements which even exceed those of DIN EN 14214 in some aspects.
AGQM membership is open to all German Biodiesel producers and trading companies as well as to enterprises (associations, additive producers, plant engineering and construction companies) which are connected with the Biodiesel industry. With the introduction of the BPAC Certificate, this pool of Biodiesel producers and traders was also opened internationally.
The AGQM Quality Management Concept
• Observance of legal and customised requirements of the fuel properties
• Provision of a consistently high Biodiesel quality
• Avoidance of technical problems caused by fuel
• Creation of all users’ trust in Biodiesel
• Trading organisations and enterprises
• Transport and storage companies
• Independent quality control
- Storage facilities
- Intermediate storage
• Documentation of production and transport
• Technical counselling