ASTM approves new standard for butanol purity testing

By ASTM International | December 10, 2014

With several beneficial attributes that make it a good blending agent in gasoline, butanol continues to hold promise for use as a biofuel. It is compatible with existing vehicles and refueling infrastructure. Low vapor pressure, high octane number and favorable distillation properties all add to the high blending value of butanol.

Now, a new ASTM International standard will be used in isobutanol manufacturing to test its purity for use in the chemical and fuel markets. The new standard is ASTM D7875, Test Method for Determination of Butanol and Acetone Content of Butanol for Blending with Gasoline by Gas Chromatography. Isobutanol manufacturers and quality laboratories that work with fuels will be the primary users of ASTM D7875.

“Isobutanol is going into a blend of gasoline for use in automobiles, all terrain vehicles, boats, lawn mowers and snowblowers,” said ASTM member Glenn Johnston, executive vice president of regulatory affairs at Gevo Inc. “It is also being used in many chemical applications that include paints and coatings.”

ASTM D7875 was developed by Subcommittee D02.04.0L on Gas Chromatography Methods, part of ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants. The new standard is based on an annex that had previously appeared in ASTM D7862, Specification for Butanol for Blending with Gasoline for Use as Automotive Spark-Ignition Engine Fuel.