Low-Sulfur Diesel for Heavy Trucks is Now Available Nationally

Standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) require that as of October 15 the sulfur content of retail diesel fuel is not to exceed 15 parts per million (ppm). Diesel dispenser pump labels for the new fuel are required whether they are at a retail or commercial site or for a company’s own use.

New 2007 model year diesel engines are required to use exhaust emission control devices that will combine with the lower sulfur fuel to significantly reduce atmospheric emissions. The fuel may also be used in 2006 and earlier diesel engines. In explaining what use of the new fuel will mean for overall performance, Chevron and Texaco—providers of the diesel—note that lubricity will be lowered since the 15 ppm fuel will have naturally-occurring lubricity agents reduced as well. New specifications, however, have been in place since January 2005, which require wear scars no greater than 520 microns. The provider notes that there will be a reduction of about 1% in the diesel that may affect fuel mileage.

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