In a nutshell, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) was developed in response to a slew of legislative initiatives targeted at lowering diesel fuel emissions.
Clean Air Act Amendment (1990):
The Clean Air Act was created by Congress in 1970 as a way to minimize hazardous emissions from automobiles. In 1990, the Clean Air Act was revised to require tighter hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter emission reductions.
Simultaneously, the EPA began enforcing sulfur content limitations on diesel fuel in an effort to assist buses and trucks in meeting other pollution rules that year.
The fundamental motivation for lowering overall emissions was to reduce the negative health and environmental consequences of fossil fuel emissions.
Highway Diesel Program (2001):
The EPA completed the 2007 Heavy-Duty Highway Diesel Initiative, a nationally mandated program, in 2001. This initiative was created to reduce emissions even more by allowing new highway diesel engines to incorporate modern emission control systems. Despite their effectiveness, these technologies have been shown to be easily destroyed by sulfur, necessitating significant sulfur reductions in diesel fuel in order to use them. The maximum sulfur limit in diesel was reduced from 500 to 15 parts per million as of June 2006. (ppm).
This drop signified the formal transition from low sulfur fuel (500 ppm) to ultra-low sulfur diesel (500 ppm) (15 ppm).
Clean Air Off-Road Diesel Rule (2004):
The EPA produced the Clean Air Non-Road Diesel Tier 4 Final Rule shortly after the highway diesel program was established. Sulfur reductions for off-road diesel engines were imposed by this rule, which took effect in 2007.
As a result, the maximum sulfur limit in off-road diesel fuel was reduced from 3,000 to 500 parts per million (ppm) in 2007, and then from 500 to 15 parts per million (ppm) in 2010.
Is it possible to add sulfur to diesel fuel?
There is more knowledge and sound science on the problem of sulfur in diesel fuel than there has ever been. Despite this, there is still a common misperception in the fuel business that diesel fuel sulfur is harmful to microorganisms and that sulfur removal is the result of the corrosion problems that are common in today’s fuel systems. Let’s have a look at some facts concerning sulfur in gasoline.
MIC has been reported since the early 1900s, and the first attempts to identify it were made in 1934. Biodeterioration and MIC have been extensively examined and studied since then. Microbiological growth (MBG) has been an issue with diesel fuel from the beginning of time. To solve the problem of MBG, Biobor JF was invented and put on the market in 1965. All of the previous fuels had a high sulfur content. Diesel fuel with ultra-low sulfur content was not introduced until 2006. MIC and biodeterioration were a severe problem before to 2006. There is no conclusive evidence that MBG or MIC are more common today. It is true that there is a greater level of awareness and research on the subject. Sulfur is required for life and is used as an energy source by microbes. The fuel business has a misconception that sulfur in historically high sulfur diesel fuel acts as a biocide or at the very least a biostatic, preventing the fuel from deteriorating. The hydrodesulfurization procedure, which was used to remove sulfur, also removed hazardous aromatic chemicals, which have been demonstrated to preserve the fuel, according to research. By eliminating polynuclear aromatic chemicals that are harmful to bacteria, the removal method made diesel fuel more vulnerable to MBG. Sulfur is not poisonous to bacteria by nature.
Around 95% of the sulfur burned in fuel is released as sulfur dioxide (SO2), a poisonous gas linked to major human health problems. A further issue is the emission of fine sulphate particles into the air, which are known to make up the majority of particulate matter (PM), which causes asthma, heart disease, and respiratory disease. PM is also a source of pollution in the environment, as it produces acidic aerosols that eventually precipitate as acid rain, snow, and fog. Acid rain was a typical occurrence prior to the introduction of ULSD. Fuel sulfur has a significant detrimental impact that cannot be overstated. Sulfur is toxic to both humans and the environment.
Diesel engine lubricants were built with detergents to protect engines from sulfur damage before the sulfur removal effort began. Sulfur creates sulfuric acid, which is highly acidic and caustic when burned. Sulfuric acid has been shown to cause engine corrosive wear and significant damage. While sulfur is known to have a lubricity factor, the acids created during combustion have been shown to inflict substantial damage to engine components, potentially increasing maintenance costs by up to 25%. SULPHUR DOES AFFECT ENGINES.
Why would someone want to add sulfur to their fuel when it has no real benefit in today’s diesel engines? Additives or biocides that raise the sulfur level of the fuel have detrimental consequences for human life, the environment, and engine maintenance expenses. Why not choose premium options that do not contain sulfur when they are available?
How can I tell whether there’s sulfur in the air? It’s possible that it’s not obvious! Sulfur is contained in biocides, for example, if the components include the terms “thio, thia, or sulfo.” Isothiazolinones, such as those found in Kathon FP 1.5 and Kathon knockoffs like FQS 1.5, fall under this category. Others, such as those manufactured with Thiocyanates, contain a lot of sulfur. Another biocide made by Buckman and sold under a variety of brand names by various businesses, such as Bell Performance’s Bellicide, E-Bio-Blast, Zoil’s or Schaeffer’s 285 Fuel Shock, contains about 14,000ppm sulfur. This diesel fuel additive does not meet government regulations for ultra-low sulfur content in engines manufactured after 2007. The prescribed dosage can significantly increase the sulfur content of your gasoline, potentially leading it to be out of specification and causing damage to your equipment.
Is ultra-low sulfur diesel available at all petrol stations?
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 systems, 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 migrate 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.
Is red diesel sulphur-rich?
If you’re new to buying diesel gasoline or haven’t done it in a while, you may notice that it’s a little more colorful now than it 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.
Here’s a quick rundown of diesel fuels:
- Diesel fuel is crystal clear. Clear diesel is an on-road vehicle-grade gasoline sold at petrol stations around the United States. This type of fuel is intended for use in vehicles that travel the roads on a daily basis, such as cars, trucks, SUVs, and marine 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.
- Diesel with a reddish tint
- The majority of dyed diesel sold in the United States is red and contains 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.
- Diesel with a blue tint
- Blue-dyed diesel is identical to red-dyed diesel, with the exception that it is only used in government vehicles in the United States.
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 fuel 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!
Is number 2 diesel sulfur-free?
When you go to the gas station, you’ll usually just notice one type of diesel oil. However, if you’ve ever needed fuel for something else, you’ll quickly understand that there are better diesel options available depending on your needs.
What is clear diesel?
Clear diesel, also known as regular, auto, highway, or on-road diesel, is the most frequent option and is available at most gas stations in the United States. Any vehicle with a diesel motor licensed by the state for on-road use must have clear diesel. Because of its use on public roads and highways, it is legally taxable, and it has a low sulfur level that meets EPA guidelines.
The history of clear diesel in the United States.
By 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had mandated that all on-road diesel fuels be Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Prior to 2008, Low-Sulfur Diesel No. 2, a less environmentally friendly fuel, was utilized. ULSD is a cleaner-burning fuel than Low-Sulfur Diesel, containing 97 percent less sulfur and extending the life of motors that had previously been affected by higher sulfur levels.
Is on-road diesel always clear?
While on-road diesel has always been a clear liquid, ULSD fuels with a green or blue tint are becoming more frequent. The diesel oil is mainly visible at this point. Many oil refineries now tint their diesel with a tiny tint that changes color over time, indicating freshness.
More on this later, as the distinctions between tinted clean diesel and dyed diesel are significant.
What is red dyed diesel?
This fuel choice, often known as off-road or non-highway diesel, is only for agricultural use or vehicles that are not licensed to travel on public highways. Although red dyed diesel is not taxed in the United States, it is subject to the same pricing variables as clear diesel, such as location and fuel scarcity.
Is red dyed diesel illegal?
Off-road diesel in the United States is dyed red to distinguish between taxed and non-taxed fuel. Being caught with off-road diesel in your commercial truck is deemed tax avoidance because it is not taxed. At the very least, you’ll face hefty fines and the possibility of a felony prosecution.
Can you mix red diesel and normal diesel?
While the effects of combining fuels vary depending on the vehicle, it is also unlawful. It’s worth noting that clear and coloured diesel have similar performance with minor changes. You could potentially damage your motor only if you use a high sulfur diesel in your business vehicles, which we strongly advise against.
Is Shell Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel available?
All Shell stations have been supplying Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel since February 2011. You must utilize ULSD if you buy a diesel-powered car that requires it. Non-ULSD fuel is bad for the environment and can damage your vehicle’s pollution control system, resulting in expensive repairs. Please consult your owner’s manual if you are unsure whether your car requires ULSD.
What effect does sulfur have on diesel?
Sulfur is present in diesel fuel since it comes from the original crude oil source and can remain after refining. The sulfur in fuel generates particles after combustion in the engine, which are a major source of air pollution and a source of engine corrosion.
High quantities of detergent additives were an essential component of engine oil before global efforts to improve air quality and remove sulfur from fuel to protect engine parts from sulfur damage. Detergency was so crucial that evaluating the level of detergents in an oil by the total base number was a typical approach to interpret engine oil performance or oil life (TBN).
Over the last few decades, regulations aimed at reducing vehicle emissions have drastically lowered the amount of sulfur allowed in diesel fuel. In both the United States and Mexico, the sulfur level of diesel fuel is now 97 percent lower than it was for most of the twentieth century. Ultra-low sulfur diesel, or ULSD, is the popular name for this type of fuel.
Is it necessary for me to apply diesel fuel additives?
In actuality, winter driving necessitates the use of diesel fuel additives. On the plus side, you’ll only need them for a few months of the year. Make sure you purchase your additives before winter arrives so you won’t have any trouble starting your engine in the cold.
Is off-road diesel a sulfur-free diesel?
Diesel for On-Road and Off-Road Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) with no more than 15 ppm Sulphur is needed for both new on-road vehicles and new off-road equipment.
Is premium diesel sulfur-free?
RoadForce premium diesel fuel is designed to ensure the integrity and quality of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel throughout the year, not just during the harsh winter months.