Ultra-Low Sulfur Fuel to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

By Paul Riegler on 13 May 2016
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DSC_0477 (1)Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel was introduced in the United States ten years ago, in 2006. The move to the new standard – 15 ppm of sulfur – was mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency effective October 15, 2006 and California began requiring it on September 1, 2006.

The change came about to allow automakers to include advanced emissions control systems in their diesel-powered vehicles that would fail to function with the previous standard for diesel fuel, low sulfur fuel, which had 500 ppm of sulfur. The new systems have proven themselves capable of greatly reducing particulate matters and nitrogen oxides to near-zero levels. As a result, the levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are 95% lower than in 2000.

The European Union began implementing the “Euro IV” standard of 50 ppm of sulfur in diesel fuel starting in 2005, although Germany began using a tax incentive as early as January 2003 to encourage the use of gasoline and diesel with les than 10 ppm. In 2009, the Euro V standard of 10 ppm went into effect although EU accession countries were allowed temporary exemptions to allow for the transition.

Diesel is still expected to play a major role in cars, trucks, and SUVs as the decade continues to unfold. With greater fuel efficiency and more stringent clean air standards looming, automobile manufacturers will continue to introduce new clean diesel vehicles that allow them to meet government mandated requirements.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)