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Movement to lower sulfur in gasoline

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Stratas Advisors' annual Top 100 ranking has confirmed the sustained movement toward lower sulfur content in gasoline worldwide. The research and consulting group cites policy initiatives which position several countries to make advances in this area.

"Sulfur remains a key parameter for improving gasoline quality and reducing vehicle emissions," said Huiming Li, Director of Global Fuel Specifications for Stratas Advisors. "Other important elements include benzene, aromatics, olefins and volatility."

Germany and Japan currently rank first and second, largely due to their early adoption of 10 parts per million (ppm) maximum sulfur limits (in 2003 and 2005, respectively). The EU presently dominates the top 40 positions, with six EU nations tied for 3rd place (after implementing 10 ppm limits in 2006). Except from Israel and South Korea, all 27 countries with 2009 implementation of the 10 ppm standard are European.

The Ukraine entered the top 50 this year (2016) with its new 50 ppm gasoline sulfur limit. Several countries will move to 50 ppm and below in 2016 - 2017.

Four primary criteria were used for ranking:

  • Maximum allowable limits in national standards and legislation.
  • Year of implementation for sulfur limits (by legislation or voluntary).
  • Local or regional standards (i.e., city or state specifications).
  • Available market levels among countries sharing the same legislated limits.

Huiming Li directs research and consulting for the Global Fuel Specifications service (formerly the International Fuel Quality Centre). Huiming Li is leaing its mission to foster communications among refiners, automobile manufacturers, governments and NGOs about fuel quality issues.

Adapted from press release by Francesca Brindle

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