BQ-9000 Program for Biodiesel Producers

Farm Energy March 30, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

BQ-9000

BQ-9000 is a voluntary quality assurance program created by the National Biodiesel Board. For details, visit the National Biodiesel Accreditation Program BQ-9000 program

The BQ-9000 program certifies biodiesel producers, marketers, and testing labs. The BQ-9000 program starts with the ASTM D6751 standard for biodiesel and adds a quality systems program to make sure biodiesel is sampled, tested, stored, blended, shipped, and distributed in a way that maintains high quality.

The incentive for a producer or a marketer to become BQ-9000 certified is to increase customer confidence and reduce the risk of selling bad fuel.

The goals of BQ-9000 program are to:

  • To promote the commercial success and public acceptance of biodiesel.
  • To help assure that biodiesel fuel is produced to and maintained at the industry standard, ASTM D6751.

BQ-9000 Producers

This category is for companies that produce biodiesel fuel to the ASTM D6751 standard. The program ensures a production company is using a system for monitoring the quality of their biodiesel, including:

  • Sampling
  • Testing
  • Storage
  • Retaining Samples
  • Shipping

The process for a biodiesel producer to be certified include:

  1. Apply for certification.
  2. BQ-9000 certification program reviews the plan and performs on-site audit.
  3. The company corrects any deficits, per the audit report.
  4. Continual ongoing quality assurance as required by the certification program.

Details of the certification program can be obtained here.

Once the producer is certified, the producer must performs at least the following critical properties on each batch of fuel produced:

Property Test Method Limits
Alcohol control Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Water and sediment, volume % Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Cloud point, °C Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Acid number, mg KOH/gm Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Free glycerin, % mass Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Total glycerin, % mass Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751
Sulfur, ppm Per EPA requirements per EPA requirements
Visual appearance ASTM D4176 Procedure 2 2 max
Cold Soak Filterability Test, seconds Per ASTM D6751 per ASTM D6751

At least once every six months, a production lot shall be selected for full specification testing. Full specification testing includes all the specification in ASTM D6751 (most recent version) as well as visual appearance of the fuel according to the ASTM D4176 Procedure. Visual appearance is not a part of the ASTM D6751. Only one cetane number test per year is required. For details of the management requirement, refer to BQ-9000 Quality Management System Producer Requirements document.

A list of BQ-9000 certified producers can be found here.

BQ-9000 Marketers

This category is for distribution companies that sell biodiesel and biodiesel blends. This is an important designation because proper handling of biodiesel is as critical to fuel quality as proper production.

A BQ-9000 certified marketer needs to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate its ability to receive product that meets ASTM D6751.
  2. Blend biodiesel and distribute it.
  3. Address quality assurance through the effective application of the program, including processes for corrective action and the prevention of nonconformity.

For details, refer to BQ-9000 Quality Management System Marketer Requirements.

A list of BQ-9000 certified marketers can be found here.

BQ-9000 Labs

This category is for commercial laboratories engaged in the analysis of biodiesel and biodiesel blends. Laboratories operated by BQ-9000 producers and marketers are also eligible to seek this certification.

For details, refer to BQ-9000 Quality Management System laboratory Requirements.

More Topics on Biodiesel Fuel Quality

Biodiesel Fuel Quality

Biodiesel Cloud Point and Cold Weather Issues

Transportation and Storage of Biodiesel

Biodiesel Quality Testing

 

For Additional Information

 

Contributors to This Article

Author

Peer Reviewers

  • Joel Schumacher, Associate Specialist, Agricultural Economics, Montana State University

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.