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Sulfur content of gasoline and diesel fuels in northern China

By Kesong Zhang, Jingnan Hu, Shuzheng Gao, Yungang Liu, Xianjiang Huang and Xiaofeng Bao


In order to investigate vehicle fuel quality in northern China, the sulfur content of fuels purchased from the market has been studied. 235 samples from urban areas and highway service stations were collected and tested with energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. 88% of the gasoline samples contained sulfur below 500 ppm, the limit then in effect, and 92.5% of the diesel fuel samples were below 2000 ppm, the required limit. China's Ministry of Environmental Protection recommend lower sulfur to assure that the vehicles using the fuels comply with the China III emission standards--those limits are 150 ppm sulfur for gasoline and 350 ppm for diesel fuel. The recommended limits were not often met: in Jinan, Shanghai, Changchun and Xi'an, 0%, 11%, 46% and 60% of the gasoline sampled were below 150 ppm sulfur. For samples from highway stations, only 14-58% of gasoline was under the 150 ppm sulfur and only 0-67% of diesel samples below 350 ppm in different regions. This mismatch, between fuel sulfur levels that would enable vehicle emission controls to operate effectively, and the actual fuel sulfur levels at service stations, results in unnecessarily high pollution from potentially cleaner vehicles.Sulfur content Northern China Emission standard

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