It's not an easy time to be a biofuel promoter. Plug-ins are getting all of the automaker and government support, and lingering questions about biofuel's impact on the environment and food prices can have people shying away. When it comes to biodiesel, dealing with different levels of the plant-based fuel in the petroleum and questions about OEM warranty issues can impact a person's or fleet's decision whether or not to use B5 or B20 or B99 or stick with straight petroleum.
Since there are so many new biofuel producers operating around the world, the final products vary greatly in quality. Establishing standards for these fuels is a goal of many organizations and biofuel producers (see some of many related stories on AutoblogGreen below). Here's how things stand in Japan.
The Engine Manufacturers Association released B20 standards at the end of May. The standards are not a national fuel standard, but the EMA wanted its members (and customers) to be able to test how the various engines perform using the same type of B20. As the EMA put it: "Engine manufacturers have limited data regarding the use of biodiesel with current engine technologies. Therefore, for the sole purpose of evaluating the performance of biodiesel fuels in compression ignition engines, EMA and i