2 November 1999
The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) sponsored an economic study on the refining costs associated with the desulfurization of diesel fuel in the USA. The study concluded that the incremental cost to reduce sulfur levels in diesel fuel from the current 500 ppm to below 50 ppm would be on average about 5-7 cents per gallon.
The report, entitled "Refining Economics of Diesel Fuel Sulfur Standards" was prepared by MathPro, Inc. and was developed with the cooperation of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the National Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA) and various refinery technology vendors.
The study also found that it would cost an additional 2 cents per gallon to further reduce sulfur levels from 50 ppm to below 5 ppm.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board recently announced their plans to set new heavy-duty engine emission standards that would require about 90% reduction of NOx and particulate matter emissions relative to the 2004 standard. Sulfur in diesel fuel is known to inhibit the performance of certain emission control devices which are believed to be needed to meet these emission standards. According to EMA, a 5 ppm sulfur cap is what emission control device manufacturers have identified as necessary to maximize the performance of their control technologies.
Download the report from EMA web site (pdf)