Biofuel Testing

ALS - Columbia offers biofuel testing for a variety of industries, including pulp & paper, energy, electrical, chemical, and mining. We regularly provide analytical support for biofuel research projects being conducted by private industry, government entities and university research labs.  We serve current producers of biofuels and users of biomass in waste-to-energy projects.

Biofuel is defined as solid, liquid or gaseous fuel obtained from living or recently lifeless biological material. Biofuel is produced from carbon-rich biomass, which is a renewable energy source consisting of plant material, vegatation or agricultural waste. Other renewable energy sources include water, wind, solar, geothermal, and hydrogen. All of these sources generate energy that can supplement or replace energy generated from finite fossil fuel sources.  The use of renewable energy will reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gases.

Biomass comes from:biofuel-testing-corn-1-.jpg

  • Forestry and agriculture waste products including hog fuel, wood chips, corn stalks, meat processing by-products, and dairy farm biosolids.
  • Food crops and by-products such as corn, soybeans, sorghum, nut shells, grape stems, cotton fiber, etc.
  • Dedicated energy crops including algae, switchgrass, and palm oil.
  • Municipal and industrial liquid and solid wastes such as municipal refuse, used tires, manufacturing waste materials, sewage sludge, waste oil, gasket materials, and black liquor.

Biomass can be used to produce:

  • Liquid and solid fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, pyrolysis oils, chars, and coke.
  • Power including electricity, steam, and heat through waste-to-fuel direct-fired systems.
  • Products including plastics and chemicals.


ALS - Columbia performs the following biofuel tests:

Acid Number D3339 - Colorimetric Titration
Ash D3174 / D1102 - Gravimetric
Ash Analyses
(Major & Minor Elements - Al, Ba, Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, K, Si, Na, Sr, Ti)
D6349 - Total HF Dissolution / ICP-OES
Carbon, Combustible D6316 - Combustion / IR detect.
Carbon, Total D6316 - Combustion / IR detect.
CHN D5373 - Combustion / TC and IR detect.
Density / Specific Gravity D1217 - Bingham Pycnometer
(Bromine, Chlorine, Fluorine)
D4208 M or EPA 5050 / 9056 - Bomb Combustion / IC 
Heating Value
(Higher Heating Value [HHV] and Lower Heating Value [LHV])
D5865 / E711 - Adiabatic Calorimetry
Metals, Total EPA 3050 and 3052 Digestion / ICP-OES
Moisture, Karl Fischer D5530 M - Coulometric
Moisture, Total D3302 / E871 - Gravimetric
Oxygen D5373 M - Pyrolysis / IR detect.
Proximate Analysis
(Moisture, Volatile Matter, Fixed Carbon, and Ash)
D3172 - Gravimetric
Sulfur, Forms D2492 - Combustion  / IR detect.
Sulfur, Total D4239 - Combustion  / IR detect.
Ultimate Analyses
(CHN, Oxygen, Sulfur, and Ash)
D3176 - Combustion / Pyrolysis / TC and IR detect.
Volatile Matter & Fixed Carbon D3175 / E872 - Gravimetric

M = Modified method

biofuel-testing-lab.jpgResults of our biofuel testing have been used by some of our clients to provide significant cost savings in their energy needs as well as providing eligibility for alternative tax credits.