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Testing the Accuracy of Retail Biodiesel Blends via Radiocarbon Dating

Christopher M. Reddy, et al developed and validated a radiocarbon-based method that can check the accuracy of retail biodiesel blends. The method, which directly quantifies the biogenic carbon in the biodiesel blends, calculates absolute blend content with ±1% accuracy while accounting for real-world variability in all of the input parameters.

Using their method, the researchers found out that only one out of ten samples collected from retailers in 2006 passed the specifications that the U.S. Department of Defense requires for blends that are 20% biodiesel (B20 blends).

The study, Determination of Biodiesel Blending Percentages Using Natural Abundance Radiocarbon Analysis: Testing the Accuracy of Retail Biodiesel Blends, was published in Environmental Science & Technology in February 2008.

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This entry was posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008 and is filed under Biogenic Carbon Testing of Biofuels .