European Standards for Bio-based Lubricants, Solvents and Surfactants

In response to the European Commission’s mandates M/430 and M/491, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) developed the following standards. Request a quote

EN 16807 for Bio-based Lubricants

European standard EN 16807 sets the requirements and criteria for bio-based lubricants. It specifies the term “bio-lubricant” and briefly describes relevant test method needs with respect to its characterization. 

For biobased carbon content measurements, EN 16807 references analytical standards ASTM D6866 and EN 16640.


EU Ecolabel for Lubricants

The European Commission’s EU Ecolabel has specified a minimum bio-based carbon content of 25% for lubricants using the terms “bio-based” or “bio-lubricant”. The bio-based carbon content will be measured according to EN 16807, ASTM D6866, CEN/TS 16137 (SPEC 91236), EN 16640 or EN 16785-1. This criteria for lubricants remains valid until December 31, 2024.

The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme valid throughout the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.


Commission Decision (EU) 2018/1702 establishing the EU Ecolabel criteria for lubricants
EN 16807:2016 – Liquid petroleum products – Bio-lubricants – Criteria and requirements of bio-lubricants and bio-based lubricants (available online for a fee)

EN 16766 for Bio-based Solvents

The CEN first developed CEN/TS 16766 for bio-based solvents in 2015, which was eventually superseded by European standard EN 16766:2017. The standard sets requirements for bio-based solvents in terms of their bio-based content, their technical properties and test methods. 

European standard EN 16766 also:

– specifies solvent classes based on the bio-based carbon content, which will be determined as described under standards EN 16640 or EN 16785-1; and

– sets requirements on information to be provided regarding the sustainability aspects of bio-based solvents.

For details, please purchase a copy of EN 16766:2017 – Bio-based solvents – Requirements and test methods.

EN 17035 for Bio-based Surfactants

The EN 17035:2021 standard sets requirements for bio-based surfactants in terms of properties, limits, application classes and test methods. It also recommends sub-sampling procedures for various forms of surfactants (e.g. dry solid, paste, gel, liquids).

It includes a classification system based on the bio-based carbon content of the surfactant to clarify naming used in the industry. The bio-based carbon content measurements will be done according to standards EN 16640, EN 16785-1 or EN 16785-2.

EN 17035 allows inclusion of the classification and bio-based carbon content percentage on product labels.

What are Bio-based Surfactants?

EN 17035 describes a bio-based surfactant as a surfactant that is wholly or partly derived from biomass produced either by chemical or biotechnological processing. 

More details can be found in EN 17035:2021 – Surface Active Agents – Bio-based surfactants – Requirements and test methods (available online for a fee).

High-Quality Bio-based Carbon Content Testing

Beta Analytic provides rapid, high-quality bio-based carbon content testing according to all aforementioned standards except EN 16785-2. For inquiries on prices and lab turnaround time, please use this form.

Over the years, the ISO/IEC 17025:2017-accredited lab has supported Europe’s bio-based industry by providing professional radiocarbon analysis as described in various CEN standards. The lab will continue to improve its services to meet the needs of the bio-based industry.

Beta Analytic is not affiliated with the CEN or any of its technical committees.

Last Updated: July 2021