Out with the old diesel, in with the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel

For months you've been hearing us talk about the impending introduction of the new low-sulfur diesel fuel throughout the country on October 15, though, mostly in regards to ushering in Mercedes' BlueTec engine. Keep in mind that the new fuel will also have a major impact on the 8 million diesel-powered trucks that move 94 percent of the nation's goods and the 500,000 diesel commuter buses.

In a press release, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) say that the new fuel will immediately cut soot emissions from any diesel engine by about 10 percent while drivers of new diesel trucks with advanced emissions controls will realize tailpipe pollution reductions of up to 95 percent. Owners of existing diesel vehicles will have the option to install add-on components that can reduce soot emissions by more than 90 percent. Richard Kassel, head of NRDC's Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project, says that in many ways the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is similar to the removal of lead from gasoline a generation ago as sulfur hampers exhaust-control devices in much the same way lead once impeded the effectiveness of catalytic converters.

[Source: Natural Resources Defense Council and Diesel Technology Forum]

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