New Clean Diesel Fuel Debuts

In the most important fuel improvement since lead was removed from gasoline a generation ago, 97% of the sulfur from diesel fuel will be removed, dramatically reducing particulate emissions, resulting in improvements to health and longevity.
September 5, 2006, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"In a major step toward reducing smog â€" and public health risks from soot â€" all new diesel fuel sold in California starting today is a new, dramatically cleaner-burning blend, required under state and federal rules that have been in the works for more than five years."

"California is putting the new fuel on the road early. It will be phased in for the rest of the United States starting Oct. 15, through 2010."

" When diesel has high levels of sulfur, as the previous diesel did, it clogs filters and other devices that can be put on the engines of trucks and buses to reduce smog. The new fuel will allow such filters to be retrofitted on thousands of existing trucks and buses statewide in the coming years."

"The new fuel's health benefit partly comes from its chemical makeup but mainly because it will be combined with dramatically cleaner truck and bus engine standards that take effect nationally for new diesel engines, starting with the 2007 model year. Running on the clean fuel, those engines will put out 90 percent less soot and nitrogen oxides than current engines.

The EPA estimates the new clean diesel, combined with new diesel engine standards, will prevent an estimated 8,300 premature deaths, 5,500 cases of chronic bronchitis and 17,600 cases of acute bronchitis in children nationally every year. Unlike with other regulations, the new fuel and engine standards put in place during the final days of the Clinton administration were not met with lawsuits and long political battles from the oil and truck industry."

"You won't see anything coming out of new diesel engines. The black puff of soot will be gone," said Matt Haber, deputy air division director for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in San Francisco.

"Because California's smog standards are so strict in general, no automakers have sold new diesel cars in the state for years. That could change.

Automakers that sell diesel cars in other states, such as Jeep, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, are expected to start selling them in California in the next few years. Other automakers, such as Honda, Toyota and BMW, are likely to offer some diesel engines in their cars and trucks too. "

Thanks to MTC-ABAG library

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Published on Friday, September 1, 2006 in The Oakland Tribune
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