V-30—Interim policy on the examination of volumetric devices used to measure low-carbon fuels

Category: Volume
Issue date: 2023-09-11
Effective date: 2023-09-11
Revision number: n/a
Supersedes: n/a

Table of contents

1.0 Scope

This bulletin applies to volumetric measuring devices that are used to measure pure alternative fuels or fuels blended with compatible hydrocarbons. It is intended to provide a framework for the examination of volumetric measuring devices used in the trade of low-carbon fuels, in accordance with the requirements set out in paragraph 8(a) of the Weights and Measures Act.

2.0 Purpose

This interim policy enables Measurement Canada (MC) to support current and future initiatives aimed at the decarbonization of fuels while continuing to ensure the accuracy of trade measurement in the Canadian marketplace. As such, a thorough review of the classification of various low-carbon fuels is needed along with an update to the requirements for measuring them.

This interim policy has been put in place in order to ease the regulatory burden on traders during this review.

3.0 References

4.0 Definitions

A diesel fuel substitute used in diesel engines that is made from renewable materials such as vegetable oil, waste cooking oil, animal fat and cellulosic feedstocks. Pure biodiesel (B100) meets the ASTM D6751-23a standard. Given the possible range of feedstocks used in its composition, it should not be confused with diesel fuel that meets the ASTM 975D standard for device approval purposes.
(carburant diesel)
A light fuel oil derived from petroleum refining that meets ASTM standard 975D.
Drop-in fuel
(carburant d'appoint)
A synthetic fuel substitute for conventional petroleum-derived hydrocarbons (gasoline, jet fuel and diesel) that is produced from biomass through various biological, thermal and chemical processes. Drop-in fuel is commonly referred to as alternative fuel.
When intended as a fuel, a substitute for gasoline produced from organic matter (biomass) and used in internal combustion engines. Also known as "bioethanol", "agro ethanol" and "ethyl alcohol", it is part of the family of renewable fuels.
Fatty acid methyl ester
(ester méthylique d'acide gras)
A type of fatty acid ester derived from the transesterification of fats with methanol. Biodiesel molecules are mainly fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), generally derived from the transesterification of vegetable oils..
Hydrogenation derived renewable diesel
(diesel renouvelable produit par hydrogénation )
A fuel produced from vegetable oil or animal fat by a hydrotreating process Hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel (HDRD) meets the ASTM petroleum diesel specification. It is also referred to as hydrotreated vegetable oil or HVO.
Hydrotreated vegetable oil
(huile végétale hydrotraitée)
A biofuel obtained by hydrocracking or hydrogenation of vegetable oils or animal fats. These methods can be used to create substitutes for gasoline, diesel, propane, kerosene and other chemical feedstocks. Diesel fuel produced from these sources is known as green diesel or renewable diesel.
A person who is designated under subsection 16.1(1) of the Weights and Measures Act to verify compliance with the Act.

5.0 Policy

5.1 Notices of approval and measurement of alternative fuels used in trade.

Notices of approval issued by the Approval and Calibration Services Laboratory (ACSL) describe the conditions of approval for measuring devices used in trade. Bulletin V-16 describes the classification of the various products.

There are currently many different types of alternative fuels on the market, each with different names. For gasoline, ethanol is mainly used as an alternative fuel. In the case of diesel, different nomenclature is used, such as biodiesel, HDRD, HVO and FAME. This list is not exhaustive since producers, wholesalers and retailers market products under different names. Identification of these different alternative fuels on the meter is not always mandatory and is generally not common practice.

As a result, the vast majority of volumetric devices are not approved for measuring alternative fuels, despite the fact that the industry already uses them for this purpose.

Sections 5.1.1 and 5.1.2 describe how the devices are to be used in trade and special considerations to be made when examining them.

5.1.1 Blends containing 15% of alternative fuel or less

For device examination purposes, blends containing 15% of alternative fuel or less are considered to be pure products. This means that the ACSL will not perform any additional approval tests and examinations will be carried out in the usual way as per the Field inspection manual for volumetric measuring devices.

The product code to be entered on the examination certificate is that of the original petroleum product. For more details, refer to the examples in section 5.1.3 and the Device product code table.

For examination purposes, there are no additional restrictions on the use of standards. Refer to bulletin V-24 for further details.

5.1.2 Blends containing more than 15% of alternative fuel

When a trader declares that a device is used to measure fuels containing more than 15% replacement fuel, or when an inspector suspects that this is the case, the nature of the measured product must be confirmed. If the product being measured contains more than 15% of any combination of alternative fuels, the inspector must obtain authorization from MC's Centre of Expertise to proceed with the device examination.

If it is possible to carry out the examination, MC will send instructions to the inspector on how to proceed, if necessary. A (mandatory) data collection tool will be sent to the inspector.

The product code to be entered on the examination certificate is that of the original petroleum product. However, an annotation must be added to the certificate:

  • In the case of a blend, the following annotation must be added: "The product measured is [name of generic product] containing [number] % of [name of alternative fuel]".
  • In the case of a pure product, if it's not defined in the Device product code table, the following annotation must be added: "The product measured is [name of alternative fuel]".

For examination purposes, only a narrow neck standard or pipe prover may be used. If the examination is carried out using a pipe prover, it is necessary to use the appropriate liquid pressure correction factors (Cplm and Cplp) for the pure alternative fuel or blend, if available.

5.1.3 Examples of blends

In applying the policy outlined in this bulletin, a fuel blend containing 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline can be classified as pure gasoline.

Conversely, a fuel blend containing 20% HDRD and 80% diesel fuel cannot be classified as pure diesel fuel.

These examples are not exhaustive, as we expect that new products will be introduced into the market.

5.2 Automatic temperature compensation of alternative fuels

In Canada, the use of automatic temperature compensation technology when measuring various fuels and other liquids is voluntary, meaning that it is not mandatory in trade transactions.

The purpose of this section is to clarify the use of temperature compensation when measuring alternative fuels. It should be read in conjunction with bulletin V-18.

5.2.1 Blends containing 15% or less of alternative fuel

For the purposes of automatic temperature compensation, fuel blends containing 15% alternative fuel or less (85% or more of the original product) are considered as pure products, as mentioned in 5.1.1. Automatic temperature compensation is permitted using the appropriate American Petroleum Institute (API) table.

5.2.2 Blends containing more than 15% of alternative fuel

For the purposes of automatic temperature compensation, fuel blends containing more than 15% alternative fuel (less than 85% of the original product) are not considered pure products, as specified in 5.1.2. Automatic temperature compensation can be carried out by following the guidelines set out in bulletin V-18.

It is important to note that bulletin V-18 is currently under revision to take into account the physical properties of new alternative fuels. Upon this revision and the study of the data obtained via this interim policy, it may be necessary to re-examine, update and confirm new volume correction factors incorporated into devices.

5.3 Declaration of mixture change

A trader must notify MC within five (5) days if the blend measured by a device changes from a blend of 15% or less alternative fuel to a blend of more than 15% alternative fuel, or vice versa.

6.0 Follow-up on the interim policy

As Measurement Canada improves its knowledge of current and future alternative fuels, it may update the current policy as required, or simply revoke it.

7.0 Additional information

For additional information regarding this bulletin, please contact MC's ACSL or Center of Expertise.

Table 1: Summary table for the examination of volumetric devices used for measuring alternative fuels
Product Automatic temperature compensation Contact MC before the device examination Annotation added on the certificate Use of standards for examination purposes Data collection
Blends with 15% or less of alternative fuel Use the appropriate API table for the replaced product No No No restriction No
Blends with more than 15% of alternative fuel Refer to bulletin V-18 Yes Yes Narrow neck standard or pipe prover only Yes (contact the ACSL or Center of Expertise)

8.0 Revisions

Not applicable.