Compendium of Experimental Cetane Numbers

Robert McCormick, Matthew Ratcliff, Janet Yanowitz, Michael Murphy, Joshua Taylor

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report is an updated version of the 2004 Compendium of Experimental Cetane Number Data and presents a compilation of measured cetane numbers for pure chemical compounds. It includes all available single compound cetane number data found in the scientific literature up until March 2014 as well as a number of unpublished values, most measured over the past decade at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This Compendium contains cetane values for 389 pure compounds, including 189 hydrocarbons and 201 oxygenates. More than 250 individual measurements are new to this version of the Compendium. For many compounds, numerous measurements are included, often collected by different researchers using different methods. Cetane number is a relative ranking of a fuel's autoignition characteristics for use in compression ignition engines; it is based on the amount of time between fuel injection and ignition, also known as ignition delay. The cetane number is typically measured either in a single-cylinder engine or a constant volume combustion chamber. Values in the previous Compendium derived from octane numbers have been removed, and replaced with a brief analysis of the correlation between cetane numbers and octane numbers. The discussion on the accuracy and precision of the most commonly used methods for measuring cetane has been expanded and the data has been annotated extensively to provide additional information that will help the reader judge the relative reliability of individual results.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages70
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

See NREL/TP-5400-67585 for the current version of this report

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5400-61693


  • cetane number
  • combustion
  • diesel


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