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New Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel Fuels to be Below Federal Levels

November 30, 2004

NEW ORLEANS — Ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel is going to have to leave refineries at well below new federal sulfur-content levels for 2006 because contamination as it moves through pipelines is inevitable, according to refiners, pipeline operators, and environmental officials, as reported by CALSTART on November 22. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require that at least 80 percent of diesel fuel sold after June 2006 have no more than 15 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur, but these experts say those levels aren´t sufficient to deliver complying fuel to users. "We need to be 4 to 6 ppm coming out of the refinery," Richard Chapman, a senior engineering specialist with BP America Inc., said at the recent Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel Implementation Workshop. That content requirement is pushing refiners near the limits of existing technology, according to some company officials.
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