- Top Stories
- Automakers Slam ‘Poor Quality’ Diesel, Gasoline in Canada; Could Have Impact on U.S.
- CARB Releases ‘Greenhouse’ Analysis of ULSD, Gasoline, CNG, Ethanol
- Panel Agrees on Test Fuel for CARB vs. EPA Diesel NOx Comparison
- Novel CTL Diesel Scheme: Low CO2, H2O, Cetane, for Niche Markets
- India Truckers Strike Ends: Fuel Crisis to Dissipate
- ‘Smart’ Regulation Would Focus on VOC Emissions, Not NOx, For Ozone Control
- New Refiner Coker Additive Can Boost Liquid Yields 3-5%
- Ethanol Could Replace Gasoline in 20 Years: Diesel Refocus Urgent
- Ford, Navistar Settle Diesel Engine Lawsuits
- Around the world of Diesel
- CARB’s Next ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’ Meeting is Jan. 30; Board Vote Postponed to April 23-24:
- Thai Refiners Push 12-24 Months Delay for Euro-4 (50-ppm sulfur) Diesel Limits:
- CME Group Unveils More Petroleum Products Swap Futures Contracts:
- Mexico's Bienes Turgon/Katcon Acquires Delphi's Diesel, Gasoline Exhaust Emissions-Control Business:
- Chrysler Delays Diesel Version of Dodge Ram 1500:
- LyondellBasell Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy:
- Jacobs Wins ULSD EPC Contract at 2 ExxonMobil Refineries:
- Morocco Switching to Euro-4 ULSD:
- U.S.’s Only Diesel-Powered Railcar Manufacturer Goes Bankrupt:
- Cummins to Supply Urea for Urea-SCR Equipped Diesel Trucks:
- CARB Publishes List of All Retrofit Diesel Emissions Control Devices that Now Meet NO2 Limits:
- Clean Diesel Technologies Licenses ‘Aris’ Diesel Fuel Injection Emissions-Control System to Eaton:
- Oshkosh Inks Deal with Daimler/DDC for Urea-SCR Equipped 2010 Diesel Fire Trucks:
- Embarrassed Over Bad Publicity, Chavez Reverses Decision, Reinstates U.S. Heating Oil Subsidy Program:
- CARB Verifies Sud-Chemie Diesel Particulate Filter Retrofits for Stationary Engines:
- California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Sets Workshop on Diesel Light-Vehicle Emissions Inspection Regulations:
- More News
- Market Report: 40¢/gal Diesel Price Premium to Gasoline in 2009; Stunning Demand Decline in 2008
- Sasol Admits Antitrust Violations; Diesel Price-Fixing Probe Underway
- Petrobras Spending $6 Billion on ULSD
- New Zeolite Catalyst Technology Would Boost Diesel, Gasoline Output
- ULSD Production Up, Stocks Up; Prices Rise Slightly
- U.S. EPA Survey Indicates 4.5 Million b/d ULSD Output by 2014
- Navistar Hits Back in EGR vs. SCR Wars: No Fuel Savings
- Tyson, Syntroleum Start Construction on Renewable Diesel Plant
- VW Shows Off Clean-Diesel Sports Car, Targets 1 Million Sales by 2018
- Natural Gas Combustion Also Causes Ultra-Fine PM Emissions: Study
- Prestigious Nanoparticle Conference Seeks Papers on Fuels, Lubes Effects
- NPRA Rips ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’ Scheme; Cites Roadblock to Dieselization
- Temperature Compensation Won’t Change Diesel Price: Study
- 11 Northeast U.S. States Aim to Copy CARB on ‘Low Carbon Fuel Standard’
- U.S. EPA Probing Possible Dioxin Emissions From 2010 SCR Diesel Trucks
- ExxonMobil Favors Carbon Tax over CO2 Cap & Trade
- Key Prices
- Distillate Watch
Despite having some of the world’s toughest standards on fuel sulfur content, Canada’s diesel and gasoline fuels suffer from “poor quality,” according to a new study sponsored by Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada (AIAMC).
The study, by Pembina Institute, contends that Canadian fuel quality “has a direct negative impact on tailpipe emissions and overall fuel consumption.”
California Air Resources Board on Jan. 14 released its latest greenhouse-gas (GHG) and energy analyses for ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), gasoline, compressed natural gas and Brasilian cane-based ethanol.
The analyses will become part of CARB’s upcoming “low-carbon fuel standard,” going to a CARB board vote in March. The rule is likely to set precedents in many other U.S. states and world-wide.
An industry/government panel organizing a test program comparing California Air Resources Board “CARB diesel” versus U.S. EPA ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) on nitrogen oxides (NOx) combustion emissions just agreed on specifications for a comparatively low-quality EPA ULSD test fuel.
Australia’s Spitfire Oil this month announced it has produced the first coal-to-liquids (CTL) oil from a test reactor, in a run-up to a proposed CTL project in Western Australia (WA).
The lab test result “brings one step closer the possibility of converting Spitfire's current resource of 500 million tonnes of lignite at Salmon Gums into at least 200 million barrels of oil,” the company said.
Spitfire “expects to produce up to 20,000 barrels of oil per day from WA's first low carbon footprint coal-to-liquids business, once the process technology is scaled to commercial levels.
All India Motors Transport Congress (AIMTC) has just called off an eight-day strike by truckers that had paralyzed food and fuel deliveries across India.
Diesel is by far the biggest-volume commercial fuel in India, easily exceeding gasoline sales.
A just-published study in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association finds that tougher controls on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) rather than nitrogen oxides (NOx) would be more effective for cutting ozone air pollution.
The study, by U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab principal scientist Doug Lawson and independent research consultants Charles L. Blanchard and Shelley Tanenbaum, examined the “weekend ozone effect” in 23 U.S. states.
Refinery catalyst developer Albemarle and coker technology developer OptiFuel announced a collaboration on a new technology that could boost coker liquid yields 3-5%.
“The proprietary technology can be easily implemented and is functional within any coker configuration with only minor modifications,” the companies said in a joint press statement.
Ethanol production could “basically replace gasoline” in the next 20 years, according to the CEO of big U.S.-based ethanol maker, POET.
“If you look at the projected increase in corn yields over the next 20 years, we can produce 50 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol,” POET CEO Broin told the Sioux Falls, S.D., Argus Leader.
“If you add cellulosic ethanol, [then] we can produce 85 billion gallons on top of that, basically replacing gasoline,” Broin averred.
Ford Motor and Navistar International announced Jan. 13 that they have settled lawsuits over quality, contract-compliance and price issues with Navistar “Powerstroke” diesel engines for Ford pickup trucks.
“As a result of the agreement, the companies will end their current diesel engine supply agreement effective Dec. 31, 2009,” the companies said in a joint press statement.
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) sees California Air Resources Board’s upcoming “low carbon fuel standard” (LCFS) rule as unworkable both technically and economically.
In a letter to CARB, NPRA points out that full life-cycle environmental analyses of biofuels and other alternative fuels have yet to be completed. Yet CARB is counting upon refiners to adopt such fuels in order to comply with the regulations.
Installing fuel temperature-compensation devices at retail fuel stations won’t save consumers any money, according to a study sponsored by National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA), Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), and NATSO, representing the nation's truck stops and travel plazas.
Eleven Northeastern states have agreed to form a partnership aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing a comprehensive low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) for both transport fuels and heating fuels.
The initiative follows of the lead of California’s LCFS, due to be finalized in March.
U.S. EPA announced in a letter to diesel heavy-duty engine manufacturers that it wants to gather new data on possible dioxin emissions from future EPA-2010 compliant diesel trucks equipped with urea-Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalysts for nitrogen dioxides control.
The issue: copper-zeolite SCR catalysts, which potentially could promote the formation of deadly dioxin emissions, EPA said.
ExxonMobil announced Jan. 8 that it now favors a carbon tax rather than CO2 cap-and-trade regulatory schemes for future energy/CO2 policies.
In a speech to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson said that global energy demand is expected to be 35% higher in 2030 than it was in 2005 “despite the current economic slowdown, efficiency improvements and growth in alternative energy sources” such as wind and solar.
Around the world of Diesel
Mexico's Bienes Turgon/Katcon Acquires Delphi's Diesel, Gasoline Exhaust Emissions-Control Business:
Embarrassed Over Bad Publicity, Chavez Reverses Decision, Reinstates U.S. Heating Oil Subsidy Program:
California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Sets Workshop on Diesel Light-Vehicle Emissions Inspection Regulations:
U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook foresees a continuation of the steep diesel price premium to regular gasoline – a further signal telling refiners to concentrate on cutting gasoline output.
Key Outlook assumptions:
Sasol announced Jan. 19 that it disclosed results of anti-trust violations to the South African government covering Sasol Nitro, Sasol Gas and Sasol Oil.
The voluntary disclosure aims to reduce the size of resulting fines.
“A finding of unlawful conduct under the Competition Act is more probable in the Phosphoric Acid investigation and in respect of one of the complaints in the Nutri-Flo matter,” Sasol admitted.
Petrobras last week revealed that it’s investing U.S.$4 billion in Euro-4 (50-ppm sulfur) diesel between now and 2012 and a further $2 billion in 2013 for production of Euro-5 (10-ppm sulfur) diesel.
However, outside of metro areas, the rest of Brasil will be stuck with Euro-2 (500-ppm sulfur) from 2014, with no plan in sight to desulfurize all the nation’s diesel fuel.
New Jersey-based Rive Technology announced Jan. 13 that it’s opening a new R&D facility focused on commercializing new zeolite catalysts that would boost diesel and gasoline yields compared to conventional zeolites.
Rive claims its catalyst technology “significantly increases the yields of transportation fuels produced from a barrel of crude oil and enables refiners to improve throughput and boost profitability.”
U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly surveys of U.S. refiner supplies of ultra-low sulfur diesel (<15-ppm sulfur ULSD) shows that stocks are rising – and diesel retail prices started to reverse months-long declines.
Here’s what the latest U.S. EIA survey data show:
U.S. EPA’s recently released “Summary and Analysis of the 2008 Nonroad Diesel Fuel Pre-Compliance Reports” indicates 120 refiners are likely to make ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) for U.S. highway and non-road diesel markets by 2014.
The report (released without fanfare during the chaos of the September hurricanes that shut down dozens of U.S. Gulf Coast refineries) points out that U.S. refiner and importer intentions for non-road ULSD production will become clearer in the next EPA survey, due in June 2009.
Big diesel truck/engine manufacturer Navistar just launched what it calls the “No Hassle in 2010” advertising campaign to defend its decision to offer diesel trucks employing exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rather than urea-selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for U.S. EPA 2010 nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits.
A key Navistar contention: The added cost of urea will “largely offset diesel fuel savings” claimed for urea-SCR. The much higher capital cost of a urea-SCR system, the truck weight penalty, and the hassle of searching for urea resupply also argue in favor of EGR over SCR, Navistar argues.
“Renewable” diesel fuel partners Tyson Foods and Syntroleum announced Jan. 12 that construction has begun on their 75 million gallons/year “Dynamic Fuels” venture to convert waste animal fats into all-hydrocarbon fuel.
The project is scheduled for mechanical completion by year-end 2009, followed by commissioning, start-up and ramp-up to full rate operations by mid-year 2010, the partners said.
At the Detroit auto show this month, Volkswagen introduced a “BlueSport” diesel concept car that easily out-performs a gasoline variant while slashing CO2 emissions.
“For 2009, Volkswagen is starting the new year by presenting an automotive dream -- an affordable, uncommonly economical and highly agile mid-engine roadster,” VW said. “Its name: Concept BlueSport. Status: concept.”
Diesels are often blamed for causing health-threatening ultra-fine particulate matter (PM) emissions, prompting some to propose natural-gas substitution.
But contrary to the claims of “clean natural gas” proponents, natural gas combustion also causes ultra-fine particulate matter (PM) emissions, a new study published in the latest edition of Environmental Engineering Science shows.
The 13th ETH-Conference on Combustion Generated Nanoparticles in Zurich, June 22–24, 2009, seeks technical papers on fuels (including biofuels) and lubes effects on ultra-fine particulate matter (PM) combustion emissions.
The conference brings together world-leading scientists, engine companies, emissions control developers and engineers to discuss health-effects problems and possible solutions to nano-particle emissions from combustion engines.
To the surprise of researchers, the average energy content of U.S. ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) didn’t decline compared to ordinary 500-ppm sulfur diesel fuel.
That’s what American Transportation Research Institute (a unit of American Trucking Associations) found in a new study.