New ASTM International standard helps determine fuel suitability

September 26, 2018 By    

A new ASTM International standard will help determine how suitable a gaseous fuel is for use in internal combustion engines in both mobile and stationary applications.

The new standard will be used to determine the calculated methane number (MNc) of gaseous fuels to be used in internal combustion engines, ASTM reports. The MNc is a rating index of a gaseous fuel’s resistance to autoignition, also called knock, when compared to a reference methane/hydrogen mixture. According to Clarke Energy, a methane number provides an indication of the knock tendency of a fuel and is a product of the different constituent gases within natural gas. Understanding the methane number of a natural gas fuel is important when determining the appropriate engine version.

Fuels covered by the standard can be traditional fuels from geological or renewable sources and include pipeline gas, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and renewable natural gas.

“The MNc will be useful to entities producing, transporting, storing, dispensing, measuring and using commercially available natural gas products intended for internal combustion engines and engine manufacturers to describe acceptable fuel quality for their engines,” says Robin Bremmer, member of ASTM International and director of advanced alternative fuels at Cummins Inc.

Bremmer also notes that the standard may be cited by ASTM and other standards and regulation organizations when there is a need to define gaseous fuel quality and its possible MNc limitation values.

ASTM International develops and delivers voluntary consensus standards.

*Featured image: iStock.com/tttuna

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About the Author:

Clara Richter is the managing editor at LP Gas magazine. Contact her at crichter@northcoastmedia.net or 216-363-7920.

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