How To Reduce Sulfur In Diesel Fuel?

Sulfur has a deleterious impact on diesel fuel, as almost every vehicle owner has heard at some point in their lives. However, if you ask them what this influence is, they will not all know. So, what is sulfur so dangerous?

For starters, it encourages fuel oxidation, which pollutes the environment with exhaust fumes.

However, sulfur’s impact on diesel fuel has more than just negative implications.

It increases the lubricating characteristics of this oil, resulting in less engine structural wear.

As a result, while choosing fuel, it is best to find a “medium ground” that provides adequate lubricity while also minimizing environmental impact.

Fuel with a sulfur level of 0.15 to 1.5 percent is recommended by experts.

Desulfurization of diesel fuels is mostly done using physico-chemical and chemical processes nowadays in the refining sector.

A chemical process uses hydrotreating and sulfuric acid purification, while a physico-chemical method uses absorption and adsorption purification.

Cleaning with sulfuric acid is done by mixing processed diesel fuel with a 90-93 percent sulfuric acid solution at room temperature.

Purified oil and acid sludge are obtained after all chemical reactions are completed.

All of the unwanted contaminants are found in the latter.

It could theoretically be used to make sulfuric acid.

Sulfuric acid treatment is, in general, a complicated process that necessitates the use of large machinery.

In today’s world, hydrotreating is the most prevalent process for removing sulfur from diesel fuel.

This procedure is extremely costly.

The price of a hydrotreating unit is determined by its performance and the depth of processing required, and it can reach millions of dollars in theory.

The core of this strategy is based on hydrogen reacting with diesel fuel in the presence of certain compounds called catalysts.

We get hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and water as a result of chemical reactions between hydrogen and sulfur, nitrogen, and oxygen components.

The high temperature (380-420oC) and pressure (up to 4 MPa) of the process, as well as the complexity of the hardware design, are all downsides of this approach.

However, in the current situation, the greatest disadvantage may be a significant anthropogenic impact on the ecological system as a result of toxic material emissions into the atmosphere and waste water.

Additional financial and material expenditures are necessary to offset the emissions created by hydrotreating petroleum products.

Adsorption treatment is accomplished by contacting diesel fuel with specialized adsorbents, such as bleaching clay or silica gel.

They absorb oxygenation, sulfur, and nitrogen compounds, as well as other contaminants that must be eliminated (for example, resin).

The elimination of hazardous components of diesel fuel is accomplished through absorption treatment.

Solvents include furfural, sulphovin, and nitrobenzene. The downside of this strategy is that the utilized solvent cannot be recovered, resulting in its entire loss and increased financial costs.

GlobeCore provides environmentally acceptable technology for removing hydrogen sulfide compounds and lowering sulfur content in diesel fuels.

It’s used in UVR-type facilities, which may also reduce wax content and remove unsaturated hydrocarbons from oil-based goods.

Diesel fuel that has been purified by GlobeCore facilities is once again marketable, does not re-oxidize, and does not darken.

  • Due to the option of selecting an automatic or semi-automatic mode, the procedure does not necessitate the presence of an operator at all times. It is only required when the plant is started and stopped, as well as when adsorbents are replaced.
  • The ability to use it in a variety of ways. When changing the type of cleansed, lightened, or recovered fuel, or mineral oil, a UVR-type plant does not require any technical management. Stopping the plant, switching to manual mode, pumping out petroleum residues from the system, and replacing the old adsorbent and filter are all that is required to move from one raw material to another.

How can you reduce the sulphur content of fuel?

New fuel oil blends for ships have been developed. A gas oil with a low sulphur level, for example, can be blended with heavy fuel oil to reduce the sulphur content.

Ships can even choose to use a different type of fuel entirely. Alternatively, businesses could continue to use heavy fuel oil but install “scrubbers” to lower SOx emissions to levels that meet the standard.

Of course, some ships were already utilizing low-sulphur fuel oil to fulfill the even stricter 0.10 percent m/m standards when trading in the designated emission control zones (ECAS). As a result, the 0.50 percent m/m restriction is met by those fuel oil blends acceptable for ECAS.

How do you purify diesel fuel?

Diesel fuel degradation due to long-term storage is not a new problem, but it is a pressing one. Many vehicle owners buy significant volumes of this petroleum product and store it in their garages to protect themselves against possible price increases. It is a good approach to save in theory, but it can only have the desired effect if all of the necessary criteria for diesel fuel storage are met. However, because containers are not always airtight, numerous mechanical contaminants can get into the fuel, causing it to react with atmospheric oxygen. As a result, the gasoline oxidizes, darkens, and loses its operational characteristics. It is possible that driving on this type of fuel is hazardous to the engine and fuel system.

It is not difficult to identify a decline in the quality of oil products, but how do you remedy the situation without losing the money you paid in the purchase?

Because it is economically impractical to use specialized equipment to purify relatively tiny amounts of petroleum product, you must consider cleaning diesel fuel at home.

There are numerous approaches you can take.

Of course, they aren’t unique or new, but they can be useful in a variety of situations.

A simple separator that works on the principle of a centrifuge can be used to purify diesel fuel.

This device was once highly common, but it was later phased out in favor of fuel-oil filters, which provide a higher level of cleansing.

The diesel fuel is pumped through a separator and then allowed to settle for a specified amount of time.

The emergence of turbid sediment signals the start of additional measures. In addition, the fuel must be slowly poured through cheesecloth into a clean container.

The use of sulfuric acid to freeze out diesel fuel can also be used to purify it.

Given the nature of sulfuric acid, this procedure might be regarded highly dangerous. But, because such treatment is theoretically feasible, we can’t help but bring it up. Sulfuric acid is carefully put into a container containing diesel fuel to perform this procedure. The proportion is one to ten. The container should then be shaken, and the resulting mixture should be allowed to settle. In the majority of cases, 24 hours is sufficient. After the dark precipitate has settled to the bottom of the container, if everything has been done correctly, you should be able to see it. Then you must repeat the process, this time pouring the fuel into a clean container through cheesecloth.

The third option is most likely the most straightforward.

However, it is also expensive.

It entails the use of particular additives targeted at boosting fuel cetane number, water displacement from fuel, injector cleaning, carbon deposit prevention, and condensation prevention, among other things.

Water can be evacuated in the winter due to its natural ability to freeze at subzero temperatures.

It is sufficient to transport a container containing diesel fuel into the cold and, once ice forms, pour it into a clean and dry container through cheesecloth.

Is all diesel fuel low sulfur?

EPA recommended ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel as a new sulfur content standard for on-road diesel fuel marketed in the United States since October 15, 2006, with the exception of rural Alaska, which switched in 2010. It has been compulsory in California since September 1, 2006. This new rule applies to all diesel fuel, diesel fuel additives, including distillate fuels such as kerosene that are combined with diesel for on-road use. Since December 1, 2010, all highway diesel fuel in the United States has been ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). In 2007, non-road diesel engine fuel was upgraded to 500 ppm sulfur, then in 2010 it was upgraded to ULSD. In 2007, railroad locomotive and marine diesel fuels were modified to 500 ppm sulfur, then in 2012, they were upgraded to ULSD. Small refiners of non-road, locomotive, and marine diesel fuel were granted exemptions, allowing 500 ppm diesel to remain in the system until 2014. All roadway, non-road, locomotive, and marine diesel fuel will be ULSD after December 1, 2014.

In model year 2007 and newer highway diesel fuel engines equipped with advanced pollution control systems that required the new fuel, the EPA mandated the use of ULSD fuel. In 2014, these sophisticated pollution control systems were mandated for marine diesel engines, and in 2015, locomotives.

The permissible sulfur content for ULSD (15 ppm) is substantially lower than the previous U.S. on-highway standard for low sulfur diesel (LSD, 500 ppm), allowing for the installation of modern emission control systems that would otherwise be harmed or made ineffective by these compounds. These devices can significantly reduce nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions.

Because this fuel grade is comparable to European grades, European engines will no longer need to be redesigned to cope with the greater sulfur level found in the United States. Advanced emissions control technologies, which would otherwise be harmed by sulfur, may be used in these engines. The ULSD standard was intended to enhance the availability of diesel-fueled passenger cars in the United States. Diesel-powered vehicles have been far more popular in Europe than they have been in the United States.

Additionally, the EPA has made it easier for manufacturers to shift to stricter emissions requirements by relaxing them for light-duty diesel engines from model years 2007 to 2010.

According to EPA projections, the new diesel fuel regulations will lower nitrogen oxide emissions by 2.6 million tons per year and reduce soot or particulate matter emissions by 110,000 tons per year.

On June 1, 2006, refineries in the United States were required to produce ULSD (15 ppm) for 80% of their annual output, and petroleum marketers and retailers were required to label diesel fuel, diesel fuel additives, and kerosene pumps with EPA-authorized language disclosing fuel type and sulfur content. Other restrictions, such as EPA-authorized wording on Product Transfer Documents and sulfur-content testing standards, went into effect on June 1, 2006, to prevent misfueling, contamination by higher-sulfur fuels, and liability difficulties. The EPA originally set a deadline of July 15, 2006 for distribution terminals and September 1, 2006 for retail for industry compliance to a 15 ppm sulfur level. The deadline was extended by 1.5 months on November 8, 2005, to September 1, 2006 for terminals and October 15, 2006 for retail. The extension was not granted in California, and the original schedule was maintained. The ULSD standard was in force according to the modified schedule as of December 2006, and compliance at retail outlets was reported to be in place.

How do you remove sulfur from coal?

The inorganic sulphur in the form of pyrite (FeS2) can be easily extracted from coal by simply washing it. The overall sulphur content can be reduced by 10% to 50% using this procedure. However, as with switching fuels, the reduction is limited, and substantial amounts of waste water are generated.

How do you remove sulfur from fuel oil?

Hydrodesulfurization (HDS), a high-temperature, high-pressure catalytic process, is the current industrial method for removing sulfur from fuels. As a result, HDS is a very expensive method for deep desulfurization.

How do you test Sulphur content in diesel?

Compliance with mandatory fuel sulfur restrictions has always necessitated the use of sulfur test procedures. The test technique limits have been pushed farther as fuel sulfur standards have tightened, for example, to 15 mg/kg for ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) in North America. At high concentrations, quantifying fuel sulfur reliably and precisely is extremely difficult. Many test procedures are ineffective due to a lack of precision and/or accuracy.

Wet chemistry, X-ray fluorescence, atomic spectroscopy, and other thermal combustion procedures with diverse detection techniques such as microcoulometry, UV-fluorescence, and electrochemistry are all used to detect fuel sulfur.

Some of the more typical test methods for quantifying sulfur in middle distillate fuels are included in Table 1. The range of sulfur contents and ASTM D975 diesel fuel grades that they apply to are also shown.

What happens if your caught with red diesel?

The HMRC will charge you for the restoration of your vehicle’s system to clean your tank and filters to remove the marker dye if you’re caught using it illegally. For its removal, you will be charged a price. Your vehicle may be impounded, or you may be charged back for the cost difference between red diesel and road diesel for the time you’ve been driving it.

What is the maximum amount of sulfur allowed in diesel fuel?

Diesel Standards Overview In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began limiting the sulfur content of diesel fuel. Beginning in 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began implementing more rigorous restrictions to reduce the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel to 15 parts per million (ppm).

What is green diesel?

On-road diesel is either clear or somewhat green in appearance. When diesel fuel is freshly dispensed into a bottle to observe its color, refineries add a green dye, which is visible. This dye fades to yellow or darker colors as the fuel ages. Checking the fuel for a “bright” appearance, with the faint green dye being a giveaway that the diesel is new and in good condition, is part of a visual inspection to assess diesel fuel quality.

What is dyed diesel?

Diesel contains dye in almost all of it. When we talk about dyed diesel, we usually mean a red dye applied to off-road diesel. Off-road diesel is typically used for heating oil, construction fueling, agricultural use, and other off-road equipment not needed to pay fuel taxes on the highway system.

What is farm diesel?

Off-road diesel, often known as farm diesel or diesel for agricultural purposes, is diesel that is not subject to on-road fuel taxes. Diesel fuel used for agricultural purposes is tax-free. Taxes can be avoided if diesel is burned on a farm and can be tracked. In Oregon, farms are able to obtain clear diesel without paying any road fees. It is frequently coloured red to indicate that it is tax-free. Some farms may track their use of clear diesel so they can submit for Federal road taxes for off-road usage in Oregon, where P.U.C. for trucks over 26,000 GVW pay a weight mile tax instead of a per gallon state road tax.

What color is dyed diesel?

Every gallon of fuel sold in the United States contains some color. Diesel for on-road use usually has a slight green hue. This is a dye that is mixed into the fuel by either the refiner or the terminal supplier. Off-road diesels are coloured red to indicate that the fuel is tax-free and intended only for off-road use.

Why is diesel dyed?

Diesel is coloured to indicate whether or not it has paid road tax. In the United States, on-road diesel usually has a faint green hue. Off-road diesel is dyed red to indicate that it has not paid the required road taxes in all states and by the federal government.

What is off-road diesel?

Off-road diesel is diesel fuel that has been dyed red to indicate that it is tax-free and only available for off-road fuel uses such as construction fueling, equipment that is never used on a public road, agricultural use, heating oil, boiler fuel, and other non-taxed diesel fuel uses as defined by state and federal fuel tax laws. Some off-road users in Oregon can use the Oregon state tax exemption to buy on-road fuel if they have the correct papers.

Is dyed or off-road diesel flammable?

The National Fire Code classifies off-road diesel as a Class II combustible liquid. A flammable fuel has a flash point below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The flash point of diesel ranges between 126 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit (typically assumed to be about 160 degrees F). As a result, it’s classified as a Class II combustible.

Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel high sulfur diesel?

Dyed diesel (also known as off-road diesel) contains a lot of sulfur. Diesel fuel having a sulfur level of more than 500 parts per million is known as high sulfur diesel.

Is off-road diesel or dyed diesel ultra-low sulfur diesel?

Off-road and colored diesel fuels may have ultra-low sulfur, however this is not always the case. In the United States, there has been a persistent campaign to reduce sulfur in all fuels, led by EPA regulation. Off-road construction and agricultural equipment have been required by EPA rules in recent years to have an emissions system that allows ultra-low sulfur to function without serious difficulties. As a result, today’s off-road diesel is ultra-low sulfur. If you have a tank with old dyed red diesel fuel in it, you can infer it has a sulfur concentration that is higher than ultra-low.

What is dyed ULSD fuel?

Dyed ULSD fuel is ultra-low sulfur diesel that has been dyed red to indicate that it is only intended for off-road or untaxed use. Heating oil, construction fuel, agricultural fuel, generator fuel, and other off-road uses are common uses for this type of fuel. The abbreviation “ULSD” stands for ultra-low sulfur diesel.

Is dyed diesel #1 or # 2 diesel?

Diesel that has been dyed can be either #1 or #2 diesel. Both fuels must include a red dye to prove that they are untaxed and cannot be utilized as on-road fuels.

Why does the government require diesel be dyed red?

“For two reasons, the federal government demands dyeing of untaxed diesel fuel and kerosene. To aid in the reduction of tax fraud by recognizing fuel that hasn’t paid excise taxes and to aid in the reduction of air pollution by identifying fuel that isn’t acceptable for use in highway vehicles.”

Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel kerosene?

Kerosene (which crosses as #1 diesel fuel) can be found in dyed diesel and off-road diesel, but it is not always the case. Do not mistake a dyed fuel for kerosene, which is a more uncommon fuel. Kerosene differs from #1 diesel in one way: it has been proven that it may be absorbed and taken up by a wick. All kerosene is classified as #1 diesel. Kerosene isn’t found in all #1 diesel fuels. Diesels that have been colored and off-road fuels are in the same boat. All coloured kerosene and off-road diesel are dyed. Kerosene isn’t the only coloured fuel.

Is dyed diesel and off-road diesel stove oil?

Stove oil is coloured diesel and off-road diesel. Similar to diesel, it’s usually a #1 or #2 stove oil. Stove oils, as opposed to diesel, had a slightly distinct set of specification problems in the past, which is why they were named “stove oils.” It was less precise when petroleum refineries distilled crude oils to make diesel range fuels than it is now with hydrocracking technology. The number of distillate range fuel requirements is significantly more concentrated today, thanks to both oil refinery technologies and EPA emission standards, in order to assure compliance with EPA and state rules. If your heating appliance requires stove oil, it will most likely require #1 stove oil or #1 kerosene. This product is supposed to produce less soot, making it better suited for use in a pot stove. Monitor and Toyostove thermostatically controlled direct vent heaters are the most current stove oil appliances in the United States.

Is off-road diesel bad for my truck?

It depends on the year of your truck, and we’re assuming you’re talking about red diesel fuel. To begin, it is illegal to use dyed diesel, off-road diesel, or heating oil in an on-road vehicle. If you are found in Oregon, you might face a punishment of up to $10,000, and the state is very aggressive in pursuing tax evasion. Beyond the usage of off-road fuel, which is legal. On the west coast, coloured diesel is often ultra low sulfur fuel. This means that if it’s burned in your engine, it won’t cause any problems. It may be high sulfur or low sulfur fuel, depending on the age of the colored fuel or whether it is genuinely a heating oil. If you use that fuel in a post-2007 engine with a particle trap, you’ll have major maintenance problems.

Is dyed diesel or off-road diesel heating oil?

Yes, colored diesel and off-road fuel can be used to heat your home. These days, most dyed diesel and off-road diesel is ultra-low sulfur diesel. According to the EPA and most state rules, heating oil can have a low or high sulfur concentration. So, while heating oil cannot always be colored diesel (when used for off-road machinery or agricultural purposes), dyed/off-road diesel can always be used for heating oil and meet the requirements of heating oil furnaces.

Does off-road diesel freeze?

At low temperatures, off-road diesel gels. Wax crystals form and fall out of the diesel at lower temperatures, clogging filters and gelling the fuel. Water and naturally held-in diesel will also ice up, clogging filters. Diesel gelling is the term for this phenomena.

Does off-road diesel gel in cold weather?

If it gets cold enough, all diesel fuels will gel. Wax crystals and ice accumulating in your fuel will clog filters and cause your equipment to shut down. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t treat your diesel fuel, it should work OK above 20 degrees F. If the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure your vendor treats the fuel for winter use so it can operate at -20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re going to be operating in temps below that, check with your vendor to see if they’ve tested the fuel to work in temperatures below -20 degrees F.

Does off-road diesel go bad?

Off-road and dyed diesel might deteriorate with time. All ASTM-compliant diesel fuels should be safe to store for up to a year without extra treatment or testing. If you’re storing diesel for a long time, it’s a good idea to treat it with a biocide and an oxidative stabilizer to guarantee that it stays within specifications and that nothing grows in your fuel tank. Water and dirt entering the fuel through a tank vent is the worst opponent of long-term diesel storage. A tank will breathe when the temperature changes, bringing in air and moisture from the outside. Keeping your gasoline within specification means making sure there’s no water in the tank and that no outside impurities can get in.

How long can I store off-road or dyed diesel in a fuel tank?

Diesel fuel has a one-year shelf life if left untreated. You can anticipate diesel to last two to three years if it is treated with a biocide to prevent biological development in the tank. When diesel is sampled after two to three years, it loses its brightness and begins to exhibit signs of age. After three years, you’ll want to sample and test the fuel to make sure it’s up to code and safe to use.

What is the difference between off-road diesel and on-road diesel?

The significant difference between the two fuels is the amount of gasoline taxes levied. To indicate that it is both ultra-low sulfur diesel and that the on-road fuel taxes associated with using it to power a highway vehicle have been paid, all on-road diesel is transparent or greenish in color. Fuel that has been dyed has not been taxed and cannot be used to power a vehicle on a public road.

Do you pay sales tax on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Washington state?

Yes. The sales tax is assessed if you consume colored diesel and do not pay the on-road fuel taxes in Washington state. The sales tax is not paid if you use clear fuel with road taxes connected to it. The Washington Department of Revenue has more information about Washington gasoline taxes.

What are the taxes on dyed diesel or off-road diesel in Oregon state?

Your gasoline distributor pays a modest tax (less than $.01) on the fuel they purchase at the wholesale terminal. The US EPA Superfund cleanup and the “LUST” (Leaking Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund) are two of the taxes. Aside from that, there are no taxes on off-road diesel fuel in Oregon (federal, state, or local municipality).

Is there a way to buy clear diesel without a road tax on it?

In Oregon, you can purchase clear fuel that is exempt from state road charges. The following are the requirements for using clear diesel in Oregon without paying state taxes:

  • cars with a legal Oregon “E” plate and registered to a US government agency, an Oregon state agency, or an Oregon county or city
  • Vehicles or farm tractors/equipment that are only used on the roadway inadvertently, as specified in ORS 319.520
  • Unlicensed vehicles or equipment that are utilized exclusively on privately owned property

What happens if I use dyed diesel in an on-road vehicle?

If you are caught in Oregon, you might be fined $10,000 each day. We’ve seen fuel tax evaders nabbed before, so be advised that Oregon is looking for any amount of dye in an on-road vehicle’s saddle tank. You will have maintenance concerns with your vehicle’s emission system if you use low sulfur or high sulfur fuel and your vehicle has a particulate trap.

Can you use dyed diesel in a diesel pickup truck?

Only if the pickup is solely for off-roading. If you plan to utilize that truck on a public road (even to cross a street) and colored fuel is discovered in it, state regulators can (and do) levy fines of up to $10,000 per occurrence. You can use off-road diesel as the vehicle’s fuel if you have a closed facility or a large farm and are not registering the vehicle for on-road use (thus the pickup must not leave the site). Any regulator observing dyed fuel in your vehicle will assume it’s an on-road pickup if you have license plates and it’s approved for on-road use.

How does the government test if someone used dyed diesel?

Typically, regulators may take a sample from the tank or spin the gasoline filter to look for obvious dyed fuel when checking for illegal usage of dyed fuel. If the fuel is clear (or even slightly pink) and they suspect dyed fuel was used in the car, they can use a special black light to show that dyed fuel was in touch with the vehicle. They’ll beam the light on the gasoline filter, the fuel tanks, and other portions of the engine compartment that may have come into contact with the fuel. They will cite the vehicle operator if they detect even a minor trace of the red-dye used in off-road fuel in specific regions. On the internet, there are kits for filtering dye out of gasoline to eliminate the color. Those kits won’t be able to remove enough dye to keep these lights from detecting it.

Why is off road diesel illegal for pick up trucks to use?

Off-road diesel is painted red to indicate that on-road fuel taxes have not been paid or that the fuel is tax-free. Fuel taxes for on-road fuel usage are levied by the federal government and state governments to help pay for the roads we all use. Fuel taxes are deductible if you use diesel for non-road equipment, machinery, or heating/boiler uses, and the fuel is coloured to make its tax-free status obvious. In a roadside or site level inspection, regulators can also shine a black light on certain parts of a vehicle’s system to see if colored gasoline is being used illegally.

What is the difference between dyed diesel and heating oil?

What’s going on in the Pacific Northwest right now? Typically, nothing. Diesel-colored heating oil is used. To reduce the overall cost of the fuel, most petroleum distributors sell the mainstream colored diesel grade for use as heating oil. Heating oil and dyed diesel have varied ASTM requirements depending on where you acquire it. Because furnaces and boilers can manage dirtier, lower-quality fuels than off-road equipment with a particle trap, heating oil specifications have larger tolerances than diesel criteria. Although heating oil is always a diesel fuel, dyed diesel for off-road machinery may have a distinct specification. In Oregon, for example, any dyed diesel fuel used in off-road equipment must include at least 5% biodiesel or renewable diesel. Heating oil and boilers are excluded from the biofuel mandate. Heating oil, on the other hand, can be free of biodiesel, while off-road diesel for machinery cannot.

Can refrigerated trailers or “reefers” use dyed diesel even if they are attached to a truck moving it on the highway?

Refrigerated trailers are, in fact, off-road vehicles. Because its engine is not pushing something along the road, the diesel-fueled refrigeration trailer is considered off-road equipment. Any ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel can be used in these trailers (dyed or clear). If you use on-road clear fuel in a refrigerated trailer and keep track and verification of the on-road fuel used in the off-road piece of equipment, you can get your fuel taxes returned. However, proof is required, so speak with your CPA or accountant.

Does dyed diesel have more sulfur?

If you’re new to buying diesel fuel or haven’t done it in a while, you may notice that your purchases are a little more colorful than they used to be.

That’s because the US government now mandates that diesel be sold in one of three colors: clear, red, or blue dyed. If you’re going to buy diesel fuel, it’s important to know the tax and legal distinctions between these three types.

  • Clear diesel – Clear diesel is an on-road vehicle-grade fuel sold at petrol stations across the United States. This type of fuel is intended for vehicles that travel the roads on a daily basis – cars, trucks, SUVs, and so on – as well as maritime vehicles. Clear diesel has a low sulfur level and is taxed in the United States. This fuel must be used in any diesel-powered vehicle that is licensed for on-road use.
  • Most colored diesel sold in the United States is red in color, and it is dyed with the chemical ingredient Solvent Red 26 or 164. Only off-road vehicles and applications, such as farm tractors, heavy construction equipment, and generators, are permitted to utilize red-dyed gas. The sulfur level of red-dyed diesel is higher than that of clear diesel. This gasoline is not taxed in the United States because it is not intended for use in on-road vehicles.
  • Blue-dyed diesel is identical to red-dyed diesel, with the exception that it is solely used in US government vehicles.

Dyed diesel regulations

Because colored diesel is not taxed and contains more sulfur, it is strictly regulated by federal and state legislation; penalties for unauthorized use of dyed fuel range from steep fines to lengthy prison sentences. Distributors cannot intentionally transport colored fuel with the intention of supplying on-road cars, and gasoline retailers cannot knowingly sell dyed diesel for use in on-road vehicles.

You cannot intentionally use colored diesel in an on-road vehicle if you are a retail diesel customer; if dye is found in an on-road vehicle, the consequences can be severe. Be astute!