Sulfur in gasoline and diesel analysis

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May 27, 2002
London, AR
After looking at numerous posts on oil analysis and seeing the Sulfur readings in both gas and diesel oil samples, I noticed that gas engines normally contain more sulfur than the diesels. It is a well known topic that Diesel fuel contains sulfur and is the culprit for air pollution. After doing alot of research I came up with the following from an employee in a Chemical lab in a refinery. Allowable PPM sulfur in fuel as of 12/4/02 Diesel fuel----0.05 PPM Gasoline-------0.1 PPM Now I understand why the sulfur readings can be so high in gasoline engine oil analysis. Ban Spark Plugs>>>>> [Razz] [ December 05, 2002, 06:44 PM: Message edited by: 59 Vetteman ]
I believe it is the sulpher that has been linked to the fuel tank sending unit failures on the new Corvettes. I have heard that other sending units in other cars are also suffering the same fate. I also thought I read somewhere that the government was going to legislate a lower sulpher content for gasoline.
I'd agree those numbers don't make a lot of sense. According to Holiday, which sells Blue Planet Gasoline to the Twin Cities market, its fuel has less than 80 ppm sulfur in it. The Natonal average is approximatly 275 ppm. EPA regs are calling for a max of 80 ppm by 2006. I don't have numbers for diesel fuel, though.
Ok, did a little more digging. According to the EPA, in general, gasoline will be required to meet a 30ppm average, 80 ppm max by 2006 for sulphur. Diesel Fuel will be required to get to a 15ppm cap on sulphur content by mid 2006. Currently, the cap for on - road diesel is 500 ppm. The new requirements on fuel are being phased in to allow the use of particulate filters (think like a catalytic convertor for diesels) to meet stringent emissions requirements that phase in by 2010.
I thougt it was MUCH higher than that. I thought gas had about 300ppm and Amoco's Ultimate reduced theirs to ~30ppm. Maybe he meant percent?
Sorry I missed answering this. It is 500ppm for diesels and 1000ppm for gas. This answered my question why the sulfur readings are high on gas engines.
Jason, The data is current and is the max allowable, depending on the market, determines the PPM in alot of cases. ULSD has a max of 50 ppm and is available is some markets also.
Alot of the sulfur content depends on the type of crude oil and the refinery. Some refiners are capable of producing ULSD, while others have not made the investment. Certain parts of the US limit the amount of sulfur sold, so more sulfur has to be removed prior to shipment. Very basic explanation to a complex situation.
I just got back my analysis of the LS-1 and the sulpher level was 0. Do you know if there is some type of sulpher restriction in the Northeast?
No, I think it is a national program:
Beginning in 2004, the nation's refiners and importers of gasoline will have the flexibility to manufacture gasoline with a range of sulfur levels as long as all of their production is capped at 300 parts per million (ppm) and their annual corporate average sulfur levels are 120 ppm. In 2005, the refinery average will be set at 30 ppm, with a corporate average of 90 ppm and a cap of 300 ppm. Both of the average standards can be met with use of credits generated by other refiners who reduce sulfur levels early. Finally, in 2006, refiners will meet a 30 ppm average sulfur level with a maximum cap of 80 ppm. Gasoline produced for sale in parts of the Western U.S. will be allowed to meet a 150 ppm refinery average and a 300 ppm cap through 2006 but will have to meet the 30 ppm average/80 ppm cap by 2007. Small refiners (those who employ no more than 1,500 employees and have a corporate crude oil capacity of no more than 155,000 barrels per day) will be able to comply with less stringent interim standards through 2007, when they must meet the final sulfur standards. If necessary, small refiners that demonstrate a severe economic hardship can apply for an additional extension of up to two years.
Here are your averages: Althought that is fairly low sulfur content and seemed to be on downward trend, so maybe its lower now, and you are also probably getting good efficiency.
Some of you were wondering about my sulfur content in my last two analysis reports with the new lab I'm using. That's because they were in ppm, and in both cases the sulfur content was in the 2700 to 3000 range. I called the lab this morning and was told that this sulfur is from the base oil, and is not abnormal. Not based on what he has seen anyways. The new lab manager there used to work in South Africa and he tells me the samples he saw down there would show 6000 to 12000ppm of sulfur, it was all from the base oil. I learn something new everyday.
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