HOUSTON, September 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The International Fuel Quality Center's (IFQC) annual global ranking of diesel sulfur standards is again top heavy with Member States of the European Union. The EU's 27 members, led by Sweden and Germany, can all be found among the global leaders, joined at the top by Japan at No. 3.
Dramatic progress this year has also been achieved by countries in Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. The ranking's world-beater in upward mobility was Montenegro, which mandated 10 ppm low- sulfur diesel in January and soared to No. 40 after placing 81st on last year's list. Belarus and Croatia tied their neighbor Montenegro at No. 40 in the rankings, with Bosnia and Herzegovina moving up nine slots to No. 47. These advances mark a trend among Eastern European countries toward matching the EU standards of 10 ppm sulfur diesel. As a result of these movements, the United States slipped four spots to 45th and Canada also dropped back four spots to 44th. In both countries, 15 ppm sulfur diesel remained the norm.
"It is encouraging to see movement year-over-year in these rankings," said Liisa Kiuru-Griffith, Executive Director of IFQC. "All of us at IFQC extend hearty congratulations to global governments, automakers, refiners and technology suppliers, who all contributed to achieving these improvements in diesel fuel quality around the world."
Among the world's fastest-growing economies, China and India both slipped a spot to share the No. 54 position, Russia remained at No. 58, and Brazil descended four spots to No. 84.
Sulfur is found naturally in crude oil. As a result, it passes into refined products, such as transportation fuels, when crude is processed at the refinery. When sulfur is emitted into the air during fuel combustion, its compounds can have negative environmental and health effects. Environmental damage to forests, crops and water supplies can also result from long-term, high-sulfur emissions. Desulfurization improves engine efficiency and leads to reduced overall emissions of sulfur, as well as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and toxics such as benzene.
Industry and policy makers around the world have emphasized the importance of reducing sulfur limits in fuels for more than a decade, but variations remain. Overall, the majority of countries are moving toward low-sulfur, cleaner fuels.
"Today's low-sulfur, clean diesel fuels and engines can make a powerful contribution to reduce on- and off-road emissions, improve efficiency and lower overall greenhouse gas emissions," said Frederick L. Potter, Executive Vice President of Hart Energy. "As long as both industry and government continue to see fuels and vehicles as a system, reducing sulfur will remain the cornerstone of emission reduction from the transport sector."
The complete ranking can be found on the IFQC Web site at http://www.ifqc.org/NM_Top5.aspx
For questions about this ranking, or to learn more about the International Fuel Quality Center, contact Liisa Kiuru-Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.713.260.6474.
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Frederick L. Potter
SOURCE Hart Energy