Ultra-low-sulfur fuels: The evolution of clean fuels production

One of the most significant trends affecting the refining industry over the past 30 yr is the drive toward clean fuels production. A major aspect of “clean fuels” focuses on mitigating pollutants—carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter—from vehicle exhaust. Many refiners around the world have adopted European standards for fuel quality (Euro 4, Euro 5 and Euro 6), as Europe has been the frontrunner on regulations for low-sulfur, “clean” transportation fuels. This includes reducing sulfur limits—measured in parts per million (ppm)—in transportation fuels. The refining industry has invested hundreds of billions of dollars over the past 30 yr to reduce the

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