Definition and standardization of Marine Biofuel

Among the advanced biofuels studied in the BioValue Project, the theoretical study related to obtain Marine Biokerosene through bio-oil stabilization routes is included; the bio-oil is obtained from the fast pyrolysis of the biomasses studied in the Project. The standardization of this biofuel is one of the objects of study of the Project and considers as standards for this standardization those produced by ABNT (Brazilian Association of Technical Standards), ANP (National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels), CEN (European Committee for Standardization), ASTM (ASTM International), among other bodies.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has established the need to reduce the amount of air pollutants emitted by ships, and the global sulfur limit, currently 3.5% m/m, was reduced to 0.50% as of January 1st, 2020 (IMO, 2020). The ANP adopted the same strategy and established the reduction of the maximum limit of sulfur content in marine fuels for vessels that do not have an exhaust gas cleaning system, to 0.50% by mass, published in ANP Resolution No. 789, dated May 22, 2019 (ANP, 2019).

According to a publication by the IEA (International Energy Agency), most of the energy used in shipping relies heavily on petroleum-based fuels and is carbon intensive (IEA, 2020). Biofuels are the most promising fuel option for the shipping sector in the short to medium term, as they can be blended in gradually increasing portions as a drop-in fuel in heavy fuel oil or diesel, which avoids the need for new ships and fuel systems.
The shipping industry has internationally recognized standards that define the characteristics of fuel oils and their content to make them suitable for use on ships (Moirangthem, 2016). These standards are listed, below:

  • British Standard BS ISO 8216-1:2010.
  • ISO 8217: 2017 (updated edition of ISO 8217:2012) for the inclusion of hydrocarbons from synthetic or renewable sources, similar in composition to petroleum distillate fuels, such as the addition of fatty acid methyl ester/biodiesel (FAME) blends, when permitted (ISO, 2017).
  • ASTM-D975.
  • International Council of Europe on Combustion Engines by Conseil International des Machines a Combustion (CIMAC).
  • Internal specifications of the fuel manufacturing and marketing company (e.g. Mobil, Shell, Sterling).

In Brazil, the Resolution currently in force for marine fuel is ANP Resolution No. 52 (RANP 52/2010), amended by Resolution No. 789, in terms of reducing the maximum limit of sulfur content. RANP 52/2010 considers the uniformity of quality standards and classification of marine fuels, as a result of the recent publication of international standards ISO 8216 and 8217, mentioned above. RANP 52/2010 contains tables with specifications for marine diesel oils and marine fuel oils. Another update of this Standard 52/2010, can be found in Resolution No. 828/2020 that “provides for the information contained in the quality documents and the sending of quality data of fuels produced in the national territory or imported and makes other provisions.”


ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis) (2020). Resolução ANP Nº 828/2020. <> [acesso em 12.02.20].

ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis) (2019). Resolução ANP – RANP 789/2019. <> [acesso em 15.02.20].

ANP (Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis) (2010). Resolução ANP Nº 52/2010. <> [acesso em 15.02.20].

IEA (International Energy Agency) (2020). Energy Technology Perspectives <> [acesso em 08.02.21].

IMO (International Maritime Organization) (2020). Low carbon shipping and air pollution control <> [acesso em 30.08.20].

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) (2017). Petroleum products — Fuels (class F) — Specifications of marine fuels <>.

Moirangthem, K. (2016) Alternative Fuels for Marine and Inland Waterways, JRC 100405, Report EUR 27770 EM.

Definition and standardization of Bio-Oil for boiler

Fast pyrolysis of raw biomass and the production of energy-rich intermediate fractions (bio-oils) in decentralized units is considered in the BioValue Project in order to overcome the scale problems associated with agricultural production, biomass transportation and industrial conversion plants.

Bio-oil from thermochemical processes, such as fast pyrolysis and hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), is not yet considered a drop-in fuel for land and air transport, where the presence of oxygenates and acidity, for example, are prohibitive properties and/or characteristics. However, for other applications, such as marine fuel or in thermal machinery, blends of bio-oil with the respective regular oil are increasingly being considered. Both ASTM (ASTM International) and CEN (European Committee for Standardization) have already published or are compiling information to produce standards for production, characterization and use of bio-oils.

A first set of specifications related to pyrolysis bio-oil has been approved by ASTM through ASTM Standard D7544 (ASTM D7544-12, 2017) which specifies pyrolysis bio-oil intended for use in industrial boilers and furnaces. However, the Standard does not cover residential heaters, engines or marine applications not modified to handle this type of fuel.

The CEN Standard – EN 16900:2017 entitled “Fast pyrolysis bio-oils for industrial boilers – Requirements and test methods” specifies requirements and test methods for fast pyrolysis bio-oils for industrial scale boiler use (thermal capacity greater than 1 MW), but not for domestic use (GlobalSpec, 2020).

The paper by Oasmaa et al. (2015) presents a summary of recommended analytical methods for fast pyrolysis bio-oils based on the available standards, ASTM D7544: 2017 and EN16900: 2017 (Table 1 – Properties of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oils and Suitable Test Methods) and emphasizes that the focus in CEN standardization is on boiler use, due to its commercial readiness. More specific information can be found in the publicly available report (Oasmaa and Peacocke, 2010).


ASTM D7544-12 (2017). Standard Specification for Pyrolysis Liquid Biofuel, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017,

GlobalSpec (2020). CEN – EN 16900 – Fast pyrolysis bio-oils for industrial boilers – Requirements and test methods. <> [acesso em 30.08.20].

Oasmaa, A.; van de Beld, B.; Saari, P.; Elliott, D. C.; Solantausta, Y. (2015). Norms, Standards, and Legislation for Fast Pyrolysis Bio Oils from Lignocellulosic Biomass. Energy & Fuels, 29 (4), 2471 2484. https://

Oasmaa, A.; Peacocke, C. (2010). A Guide to Physical Property Characterisation of Biomass Derived Fast Pyrolysis Liquids. VTT Publications: Espoo, Finland; VTT Publications, Vol. 731, ISBN: 978 951 38 7384 4,

Fundamental Bibliographical References

Norms, Standards, and Legislation for Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oils from Lignocellulosic Biomass

Energy Technology Perspectives 2020