HOUSTON, TEXAS, Nov. 19, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Led by Serbia, 15 countries rose in Hart Energy Research & Consulting's 2013 ranking of countries based on commitment to lower sulfur content in diesel fuel.
Serbia's national specifications required all diesel distributed in the country to be "free" of sulfur (defined as less than 10 parts per million) as of August 2013.
The country joins 47 other countries that have adopted sulfur-free diesel as a national policy. The United States, which retained its 15 parts per million limit for diesel, slipped four spots to No. 50 when it was passed by four countries that adopted more stringent regulations. European Union countries, which first adopted 10 parts per million in 2009, continue to lead the rest of the world in the ranking
"Hart Energy Research & Consulting acknowledges widespread advancement toward cleaner fuels," said Huiming Li, Director, Asia, who led the research team that compiled the ranking. "However, revisions in this ranking are more a reflection of our analysts' continuing efforts to depict a more accurate picture of global fuel quality than rigorous policy action. Only five countries improved their standings as a result of enacting more stringent fuel quality legislation in the past year."
Emissions of sulfur, found naturally in crude oil, contribute to environmental damage to forests, crops and water over the long term. Sulfur reduces the efficiency of vehicle catalysts which results in increased emissions of pollutants. Diesel quality is determined by other aspects in addition to sulfur, among them: cetane, density, viscosity, polyaromatics and cold flow.
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Source: Hart Energy