UNECE’s new recommendation on fuel quality will help countries to reduce air pollution

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Fuel quality is key to deliver on sustained low emissions from cars, as both cleaner fuels and advanced emission control systems are needed to deliver on cleaner tailpipe emissions.

Since the 1980s, UN Vehicle Regulations have enforced the installation of advanced emission control systems (e.g. catalytic converters) to clean exhaust gases and reduce the emission of harmful pollutants. In order to function properly and ensure reliable performance over time, these systems require minimum standards for fuel quality, in particular the use of unleaded fuel. Regulatory obligations have led to the disappearance of lead in fuel in almost all countries in the world.

Now, the UNECE recommendation on adequate fuel quality, first adopted in 2012, has just been revised to adjust to the latest vehicle emission standards (equivalent to Euro 5, Euro 6), which are in force in most developed economies. This means that Sulphur levels have to remain below 10ppm for both gasoline and diesel.

Reducing sulfur to minimum levels will not only ensure optimal and reliable operation of emission controls systems, it will also improve air quality, benefitting the environment and human health.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) contributes to acid rain and adversely impact human health causing skin irritation and inflammation and irritation of the respiratory system. 



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