Fuel Oil News

Fuel Oil News April 2015

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Fuels eIA N e w s 12 April 2015 | FUEl Oil NEWS | www.fueloilnews.com ASTM DiESEl ClEANliNESS WOrkShOp Will BE hElD iN JUNE A Diesel Cleanliness Workshop will be held June 25 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Sponsored by ASTM International Committee D02 on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels and Lubricants, the event will be held in conjunction with the committee's standards development meetings. The ASTM Diesel Cleanliness Work-shop aims to bring fuel manufacturers, distributors, end users, regulators and other interested parties together in an effort to seek a path forward for improved diesel fuel cleanliness necessary for modern engines. It will review the Coordinating Research Council Report 667 as a guide for better understanding the important aspects of diesel fuel storage and handling, which can help maintain acceptable levels of fuel cleanliness during distribution, stor- age and end use. A significant amount of time at the end of the program will be designed for an open discussion in an effort to seek a path forward for what changes may need to be made to improve fuel cleanliness. Registration will open approximately six weeks before the workshop. Visit www.astm.org/D02DieselWrkshp for addi- tional information. Additional technical information is available from work- shop co-chairmen Rick Chapman, Innospec Fuel Specialties, Newark, Del., tel +1.630.386.3406; rick.chapman@inno- specinc.com; and Manuch Nikanjam, Chevron Products Co., Richmond, Calif., tel +1.510.242.2741; mnik@chevron.com. eIA: large Reduction in Distillate Fuel sulfur Content Has Only Minor effect on energy Content Distillate fuel oil supply consists primarily of diesel fuel used for transportation and of heating oil burned in furnaces and boilers. Over the past 20 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has regulated the amount of sulfur con- tained in diesel fuel to enable reductions in harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from diesel engines. Since 2006, most distillate fuel has had less than 15 parts per million of sulfur, a drastic change from the early 1990s, when high-sulfur diesel had an average sulfur content of 3,000 ppm. This change has improved air quality by reducing sulfur emis- sions with only a minor effect on the average energy content of distillate fuel consumed in the United States. Diesel fuel supply is subdivided into the highway, nonroad, locomotive, and marine categories. Beginning in 1993, the EPA required petroleum refiners and marketers to introduce diesel with sulfur content no higher than 500 ppm (low- sulfur diesel) for highway use. In 2006, the limit for highway diesel was further tightened, as the EPA required no more than 15 ppm of sulfur (ultra-low-sulfur diesel) by 2010. EIA has updated its survey data collections several times in response to increasingly stringent limits on sulfur content, creating new dis- tillate fuel categories to account for the new, lower-sulfur diesel fuel types. Tighter sulfur limits are also being applied to nonhighway diesel. In 2007, the EPA required nonroad, locomotive, and marine diesel (NRLM) suppliers to begin the transition to low-sulfur and ultra-low-sulfur diesel. By 2014, this pro- cess was nearly complete. Diesel fuel prior to 1993 had an average sulfur content of 3,000 ppm (high-sulfur diesel); the limit for ultra-low-sulfur diesel is 99.5% lower. Sulfur is removed from distillate fuel during the refining process by reaction with hydrogen. This process, known as catalytic hydrotreating, strips away sulfur as well as nitrogen, oxygen, and metals from hydrocarbon compounds. These reactions reduce the weight per gallon and a small portion of the thermal energy obtained from the combustion of a gallon of distillate fuel. EIA's calculation of the heat content of distillate fuel supply in the United States reflects these changes, going from about 138.6 thousand British thermal units (per gallon in 1994, to an estimated 137.5 thousand Btu per gallon in 2014. Heat content is a necessary component when comparing consumption across various physical units of energy, such as gallons of gasoline or cubic feet of natural gas. Appendices to EIA's Monthly Energy Review provide heat content factors for several fuels. Principal contributor: Tony Radich

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