Fuel Quality Council


The Fuel Quality Council (FQC) will study the relationship between diesel fuel quality and modern high pressure common rail diesel engines, identify possible issues with that relationship, and evaluate the viability of potential solutions.


The Fuel Quality Council will engage in a number of data collection, analysis and research initiatives as directed by the General Council and Steering Committee. These initiatives will include the following:

  • Eliminate Silos. FQC will bring together the diverse stakeholders in the diesel fuel and engine supply chain, facilitating collaboration among these entities in order to evaluate market conditions and potential solutions in a comprehensive manner.
  • Not Recreate the Wheel. FQC will review current research and literature pertaining to diesel engine performance and diesel fuel quality, identify gaps in knowledge and develop a plan to contribute value to the knowledge base.
  • Quantify the Problem. FQC will collect maintenance and warranty claim data from truck owners, fleet operators and engine manufacturers, catalogue the issues being reported, and issue a report summarizing the scope and observable trends of the issues.
  • Benchmark Fuel Quality. FQC will work with the engine manufacturers to understand the optimum specifications for diesel fuel and develop a model to compare the quality of diesel fuel in North America relative to that marketed in other countries with a significant population of diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Map the Problem. FQC will compare maintenance data with the fuel quality benchmark and map the relationship between fuel quality and engine problems. This will isolate any existing problem and enable targeted evaluation of potential solutions.
  • Evaluate the System.If data evaluation identifies a problem with fuel quality, FQC will evaluate the entire fuel supply and distribution system, from nozzle to refinery, to identify potential sources of the problem.
  • Determine Value.If there is a persistent issue with fuel quality and engine performance, FQC will evaluate any potential mitigation solutions to determine their return on investment and provide stakeholders with an assessment concerning the value of taking steps to address the issues.

Who Should Be Involved?

The Fuel Quality Council will be most successful with broad participation by all who are engaged in the diesel fuel and engine markets. Participants should include but not be limited to:

  • Engine manufacturers
  • Fleet operators
  • Refiners
  • Biofuel producers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Storage and dispensing equipment providers
  • Vehicle and engine equipment providers
  • Additive manufacturers
  • Vehicle maintenance providers
  • Fuel storage tank and dispenser maintenance providers

Structure & Participation

Any interested stakeholder is eligible to participate in the Fuel Quality Council by becoming a member of either the General Council or Steering Committee:

  • General Council - $2,500
    The General Council represents the breadth of the industry, pulling input from all stakeholders to develop the research objectives of the Fuel Quality Council, identify specific research initiatives, guide and review all findings and reports, and contribute market data for analysis in research projects.
  • Steering Committee - $10,000
    The Steering Committee is the governing body of the FQC, managing the budget, overseeing overall operations, contracting with outside research entities, and granting final approval to release of findings and reports.

Steering Committee

  • Afton Chemical
  • Andeavor
  • Center for Quality Assurance
  • Daimler-Detroit Diesel
  • Donaldson
  • ExxonMobil
  • Innospec Fuel Specialties
  • Kum & Go
  • Love's Travel Stops
  • Mansfield Oil
  • NREL
  • Petroleum Tec
  • Pilot
  • Seneca
  • TravelCenters of America
  • Veeder-Root
  • Vulcan Materials Company

General Council

  • National Biodiesel Board
  • The Petroleum Marketers Association of America
  • Schneider
  • Steel Tank Institute

Coming soon...

The following represents relevant literature, studies, and webinars the Fuel Quality Council has reviewed thus far relating to diesel fuel quality and engine performance. The Council is continuing to receive reports and update this list on ongoing basis. To submit a new report for our consideration, please email Amanda Appelbaum at aappelbaum@fuelsinstitute.org.

Technical Overview Of Diesel Fuel/standards

Diesel Fuels Technical Review, Chevron, 2007

Fifth Edition Worldwide Fuel Charter, ACEA, Auto Alliance, EMA, JAMA, September 2013

Diesel Fuel And Engines, Then & Now: What Has Changed & Why We Are Seeing Increased Problems

Bulk Fuel Filtration for Off-Road Applications, 10th International Filtration Conference, Paper No. IFC10-019, Richard Douglas, Caterpillar, 2013?

MyCleanDiesel Webinar: Why do Carboxylates Plug My Filter?, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, August 3, 2016

Clean Fuel and Lube Solutions Webinar: Why Fuel Filters Plug, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, February 3, 2016

Clean Fuel – Keep Running, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, 2017

Emerging Challenges of Fuel Filtration, Donaldson Company, Inc., American Filtration and Separation Society, 2009 Spring Conference

Glycerin Related Premature Plugging of Fuel Filters, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, Post 2005

The Effect of Hard Particle Wear on Diesel Injectors, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, 2015

Chemical Properties That May Contribute To Contaminants

Diesel Fuel Storage and Handling Guide, CRC Report No. 667, September 2014

ULSD/Biodiesel Blend and its Effect on Fuel/Water Separation, American Filtration & Separation Society Annual Conference, Donaldson Company, May 2008

Case Studies/Testing

Potential Problems of High Efficiency Fuel Filtration and Cold Flow Improver Additives, IASH 2015, 14th International Symposium on Stability, Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels, Donaldson Company, Inc., October 2015

Contaminants Found on Diesel Fuel Storage Tank Filters, IASH 2011 – 12th International Conference on Stability, Handling and Use of Liquid Fuels, October 2011

BP: Retail Diesel Cleanliness Study Update, Rick Chapman, ASTM D02 Subcommittee 14, December 3, 2007

Worldwide Winter Diesel Fuel Quality Survey 2016, Infineum.com

10 Micron Filters & Other Filtration Issues

The Need for 10 -μ Diesel Dispenser Filters * “The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval”, NCWM Fuels and Lubricants Subcommittee (Phone Conference), Prentiss Searles, American Petroleum Institute, December 15, 2015

Letter to NCWM Laws and Regulations Committee, NATSO, PMAA, SIGMA, NACS, Energy API, January 19, 2012

Letter to NCWM Laws and Regulations Committee, CIM TEK Filtration, July 10, 2013

Item 2307-4 W Section 4.3 Dispenser Filters, Missouri Department of Agriculture, 2012

Support the Consumer – Require 10-Micron Diesel Fuel Filter, Energy API, Dispenser Filters at retail (flow rate less than 15 gallons per minute) (Section 4.3 (237-3))

Clean Fuel & Lubricant Solutions Knowledge Base: How to Use Water Absorbers, Donaldson Filtration Solutions

John Eichberger
Executive Director

Amanda Appelbaum
Director, Research