31 December 2001

First provisions of the new Australian fuel quality legislation, adopted in August 2001, become effective tomorrow. Diesel sold after January 1st, 2002 in Australia will conform to new density, distillation temperature, and ash specifications. The most important fuel quality change, however, is the elimination of lead from gasoline (0.005 g/liter max.), also effective 1 January 2002.

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The new legislation introduces a number of diesel and gasoline specification changes to be phased-in between 2002 and 2006. In particular, diesel sulfur content will be limited to 500 ppm (mg/kg) effective 31 December 2002, and down to 50 ppm, effective 1 January 2006.

Besides the elimination of lead, changes to gasoline fuel quality include stricter limits on sulfur, aromatics, benzene (1% vol., 1 Jan 2006), and, importantly, MTBE (1% vol., 1 Jan 2004).

The new fuel quality standards have been adopted to bring Australia in line with international best practice in Europe, and represent Australia Government’s commitment to facilitating the adoption of cleaner engine and emission control technologies. They also address potential risks that widespread use of MTBE poses to the water resources.

Source: Environment Australia