Background

India has been adopting regulations for fuels and vehicle emissions that are based on European standards. New requirements are first introduced in Delhi and other major cities, following nationwide implementation. The evolution of diesel fuel quality is summarized in Table 1.

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Table 1
Diesel Fuel Quality in India
DateParticulars
1995Cetane number: 45; Sulfur: 1%
1996Sulfur: 0.5% (Delhi + selected cities)
1998Sulfur: 0.25% (Delhi)
1999Sulfur: 0.05% (Delhi, limited supply)
2000Cetane number: 48; Sulfur: 0.25% (Nationwide)
2001Sulfur: 0.05% (Delhi + selected cities)
2005Sulfur: 350 ppm (BS III/Euro 3; selected areas)
2010Sulfur: 350 ppm (BS III/Euro 3; nationwide)
2010Sulfur: 50 ppm (BS IV/Euro 4; selected areas)

More details on the implementation schedule of European specifications is given in the article on vehicle emission standards.

IS 1460:1995 Specifications (2000)

India 2000 specifications for automotive diesel fuel (corresponding to Euro 1) are listed in Table 2.

Table 2
Diesel Fuel Specification IS 1460:1995
PropertyUnitSpecificationTest*
HSD†LDO‡
Acidity, inorganic NilNilP:2
Acidity, total, maxmg KOH/g0.20-P:2
Ash, max% m/m0.010.02P:4
Ramsbottom carbon on 10% Residue, max% m/m0.30a1.5P:8
Cetane number, min 48b-P:9
Pour point**, max°CW: 3
S: 15
W: 12
S: 21
P:10
Copper corrosion (3 h at 100°C), min 11P:15
Distillation, max°C  P:18
  - 85% vol. recovered350-
  - 95% vol. recovered370-
Flash point, min°C   
  - Abel35-P:20
  - Pensky-Martens-66P:21
Kinematic viscosity @40°CcSt2.0-5.02.5-15.7P:25
Sediment, max% m/m0.050.10P:30
Density @15°Ckg/m3820-860creportP:16, P:32
Total sulfur, max% m/m0.251.8P:33
Water content, max% v/v0.050.25P:40
CFPP**, max°CW: 6
S: 18
-P:10
Total sediments, maxmg/100 ml1.6- 
† High Speed Diesel (Automotive Diesel Fuel)
‡ Light Diesel Oil
* Indian Standard IS 1448, Annex [P:]
** Winter starts on November 1, Summer starts on March 1
a - prior to cetane number improvers, if used
b - 45 for fuels processed from Assam crude
c - 820-870 for fuels processed from Assam crude