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Transportation Energy Institute Launches Fuel Quality Council to Evaluate Relationship of Diesel Fuel in Modern High Pressure Common Rail Engines

Transportation Energy Institute Press Release |
November 01, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – As new high pressure common rail diesel engines have increased their share of the U.S. market, there has been an increase in reports of engine breakdowns and failures presumably related to diesel fuel quality. While some assert a causal versus a coincidental relationship between the two, there has yet to exist a conclusive answer to why diesel fuel injectors, filters, and other engine parts are breaking down with seemingly greater frequency. The Fuel Institute today announced the formation of the Fuel Quality Council (FQC), a non-biased, cross-industry collaborative initiative aimed at better understanding the issue and evaluating potential solutions. Details can be found at

“The Transportation Energy Institute is designed to facilitate cross-industry collaboration to better understand what is happening in the fuels and vehicles market,” explained Transportation Energy Institute Executive Director John Eichberger. “The concerns relating to engine performance and diesel fuel quality represent an opportunity for the industries – on the fuels, vehicles and engines sides – to come together to share knowledge, evaluate available data, and seek greater understanding of the existing challenges and possible solutions available in the heavy-duty market. The Fuel Quality Council provides the mechanism for such collaboration to be successful.”

FQC will engage in engine maintenance data collection, fuel sampling analysis, and research initiatives as directed by the General Council and Steering Committee, to better understand the scope and nature of the issue. The founding members of the FQC include: Afton Chemical Company, Andeavor, Center for Quality Assurance, Detroit Diesel Corporation, Donaldson Company, ExxonMobil, Innospec Fuel Specialties, Kum & Go, Love’s Travel Stops, Mansfield Oil Company, NATSO, NREL, Pilot Flying J, Seneca Companies, Vulcan Materials Company, National Biodiesel Board, and Steel Tank Institute.

FQC’s core mission includes:

  • Eliminating silos by bringing together diverse stakeholders in the diesel fuel and engine supplychain and facilitating collaboration among these entities;
  • Reviewing current research and literature to identify gaps in knowledge and develop a plan tocontribute value to the knowledge base;
  • Benchmarking fuel quality by working with engine manufacturers to understand the optimumspecifications for diesel fuel and develop a model to compare diesel fuel quality in NorthAmerica to that in other countries;
  • Mapping the relationship between fuel quality and engine problems by comparing maintenancedata with the fuel quality benchmark;
  • Evaluating the entire fuel supply and distribution system, from nozzle to refiner, to identifypotential sources of the problem; and
  • Determining whether potential solutions to any diesel engine-fuel problems will yield a returnon investment and the value of taking such steps to address the problem(s).

General Council members are responsible for developing the research objectives of the FQC, serving on working groups, guiding and reviewing all findings and reports, and contributing market data for analysis in research projects. The Steering Committee is the governing body of the FQC which manages the budget, oversees all operations, contracts with outside research entities, and grants final approval to release findings and reports.

The Fuel Quality Council is currently seeking new members for both the General Council and Steering Committee. The goals of the FQC cannot be achieved without diverse input from all stakeholders in the industry. Together, we look forward to delving deeper into the relationship between diesel fuel quality and engine performance than has ever been able to be achieved thus far.

To get involved, or for more information, please contact Amanda Appelbaum, Director of Research at 703-518-7974 or

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