IP 41: Petroleum products — Determination of the ignition quality of diesel fuels — Centane engine method

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  • Method adopted/last revised: 1999
  • Method reapproved: 2017
  • REF/ISBN: IP41-2939444
  • Status: Current
  • First printed in STM books: February 1999


This International Standard establishes the rating of diesel fuel oil in terms of an arbitrary scale of cetane numbers using a standard single cylinder, four-stroke cycle, variable compression ratio, indirect injected diesel engine. The cetane number provides a measure of the ignition characteristics of diesel fuel oil in compression ignition engines. The cetane number is determined at constant speed in a pre-combustion chamber-type compression ignition test engine. However, the relationship of test engine performance to full scale, variable speed, variable load engines is not completely understood.

This International Standard is applicable for the entire scale range from zero cetane number (CN) to 100 CN but typical testing is in the range of 30 CN to 65 CN.

This test may be used for unconventional fuels such as synthetics, vegetable oils, etc. However, the relationship to the performance of such materials in full scale engines is not completely understood.
Samples with fluid properties that interfere with the gravity flow of fuel to the fuel pump or delivery through the injector nozzle are not suitable for rating by this method.

NOTE 1 This International Standard specifies operating conditions in SI units but engine measurements are specified in inch-pound units because these are the units used in the manufacture of the equipment, and thus some references in this International Standard include these units in parenthesis.

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