Ultra Low Sulfur Availability & Issues?

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Steve CDN

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Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) will begin replacing conventional diesel fuel starting in 2006. The new fuel will contain 97% less sulfur than conventional diesel?sulfur will be reduced from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 15 ppm.

ULSD is cleaner-burning, producing less particulate emissions in both older and new engines.

Both Canada and the U.S. are expected to require diesel outlets to provide ULSD by the end of 2006.? The fuel is required for new high tech diesel engines used in automobiles in Europe, and will now be available in North America with 2007 models.

What will be the effect of ULSD on my 1998 Cummins C 8.3 mechanical diesel engine in my coach and other motorhomes produced before the introduction of ULSD in North America?? What about fuel lubricity?? Will I need additives in the motorhome?

Will truck stops be required to replace the older diesel with ULSD?? How will anyone know if they are getting high sulfur or low sulfur diesel?

 

Jim Godward

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Steve,

I can't comment on Cummins but I expect Leo will.? G? On the CAT club forum and else where Cat has repeatedly indicated that there is no problem with the older engines using ULSD.? Time will tell as it did with the unleaded gas.? I hope the result will be better.

Right now the TS have a sticker on the pumps that says that the fuel is low sulphur diesel and is not legal for 2007 model diesel engines.? IF and when the pumps convert, this sticker should be replaced with one that indicates the pump is a ULSD pump.
 

Ned

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The oil companies will be adding lubricity agents to the ULSD fuel to replace the missing sulfur, so older engines will run on the new fuel.
 

Steve CDN

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Is there a deadline for all vendors of diesel to convert all their pumps to ULSD or will there be two kinds of diesel being sold so those requiring ULSD for 2007 diesels will have to search?

Are 2007 Cat and Cummins engines being built to require ULSD or is it just some car manufacturers with 2007 engines?
 

Ned

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I believe all 2007 diesel engines must be built to use ULSD fuel.
 

Jim Godward

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All the "2007" CATs will be for only ULSD.  A number of truck manufacturers bought ahead and will be installing "2006" engines for a while.  I believe FL will make the change over in March but I'm guessing that is what was posted somewhere.

I seem to remember that the ULSD is supposed to become available this month but the retailers cannot change the stickers till the fuel in the tanks actually test properly for the ULSD.  That may take some time depending on useage etc.
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
Is there a deadline for all vendors of diesel to convert all their pumps to ULSD or will there be two kinds of diesel being sold so those requiring ULSD for 2007 diesels will have to search?

Are 2007 Cat and Cummins engines being built to require ULSD or is it just some car manufacturers with 2007 engines?

Both fuel can be sold until 2010; I do believe its going to be necessary to search for ULSD. The changeover is going to be painful I would bet.
All engines by any manufacturer built after 1/1/07 must use ULSD fuel.?

Note - Cummins has issued a bulletin saying that some lift pumps leak after starting to use ULSD on the exisitng engines. Has to do with the nitrle gasket used. It swells when first coming into contact with fuel but seems to contract when USLD hits it after using LSD. This is statement -

There is a nitrile gasket between the lift pump body and the bracket. Once the nitrile gasket absorbs fuel, the gasket expands and seals. If the fuel type is changed from LSD to ULSD, the nitrile gasket will shrink and no longer seal, causing a fuel leak.

The recommended action to truckers has been to change fuel lift pump simultaneous with changing to USLD.?
 

Steve CDN

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I do believe its going to be necessary to search for ULSD

It would be great if Forum members interested in this subject could do some research on developing resources and strategies to learn how ULSD will be marketed and promoted by the oil companies.  Where and how will they advertise and announce its availability so people needing ULSD can locate it without going door to door searching for it

Anyone have experience understanding how oil companies develop their marketing strategies for this type of situation?

Id ULSD expected to be more or less expensive that currently available diesel fuel?
 

CurtRR

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Refineries began switching over to production of ULSD in the summer of 2005. ?At first only 2 refineries could produce it, and the others had to ship their fuel there for getting the sulfur out. ?You will remember that diesel spiked at 50?/gallon above premium for a while. ? The gumment drop dead date for ULSD at Refineries was July 1, 2006, at Terminals Sept. 1, 2006, and at the pump on October 15, 2006. ?Canadian requirements are essentially the same.

California required it at the pump on Sept. 1, 2006.

Offroad, locomotive, and marine fall under different, more lenient regulations.

With pipelines and tanks having the old stuff in there, the odds that you've been getting ULSD have been increasing monthly, but a 2007 model engine with a trap oxidizer and afterburn catalyst would suffer damage if it received the old fuel. ?Since there aren't any such engines out there until Mercedes releases the 2007 E320 Bluetec diesel, it's not a problem. ?Remember that most of the coach builders have pre-ordered enough 2006 production engines to handle their 2007 model vehicles, so, for our purposes, the new engines will show up with the 2008 models next year.

The one fly in the ointment I see is the statement "Facilities that choose to carry ULSD must meet
15 ppm sulfur specification 10/15/06." ?This allows stations to not carry ULSD and still sell LSD. ?Now in California ALL highway use diesel is ULSD already (9/1/06), but the date all highway use diesel must be ULSD for the rest of the country is 12/1/2010.

"up to 20 percent of highway diesel fuel produced may continue to meet the current 500 ppm sulfur limit through May 2010; the remaining 80 percent of the highway diesel fuel produced must meet the new 15 ppm maximum." (http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/ulsd/index.html)

Thus the statement, "I do believe its going to be necessary to search for ULSD," seems to be negated by the 80% requirement.

References:
http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/fuels/diesel/ulsd.shtml

http://www.clean-diesel.org/highway.html


Fuel Leaks From Seals of Vehicles Using Ultra Low SulfurDiesel
 

blueblood

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I have no t seen any other source quote the 20% number used here and I don't think its right.  Here is CT latest guidance issued just 45 days ago.


Although ULSD fuel will be the dominant highway diesel fuel produced, EPA does not require all service stations and truck stops to provide ULSD fuel until 2010 and EPA?s rule has no standard for municipal fuel depots. Fuel selection for municipalities will be driven by the requirements of their diesel fleet (new and retrofits) and by the state regulation of their emergency generators. If such emergency generators have dedicated tanks of diesel fuel, purchasing records will have to be kept to establish compliance by showing that the tanks were topped off with fuel that has a sulfur content of 15 ppm or less. Similar compliance records will have to be maintained to document that fuel meeting the federal standard has been used to top off a multi-use tank that serves an emergency generator. Once retailers or municipal fuel depots dedicate their tanks to the 15 ppm ULSD, they will be limited in their ability to revert to the higher sulfur blends due to federal anti-downgrading regulations

I'm on raod and working from cell phone so can't do my normal research but I think there is a mis communication here.

 

CurtRR

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blueblood said:
I have no t seen any other source quote the 20% number used here and I don't think its right.?

http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/ulsd/index.html states:

Diesel meeting the new specification will be required at terminals by July 15, 2006, and at retail stations and wholesalers by September 1, 2006. Under a ?temporary compliance option? (phase-in), up to 20 percent of highway diesel fuel produced may continue to meet the current 500 ppm sulfur limit through May 2010; the remaining 80 percent of the highway diesel fuel produced must meet the new 15 ppm maximum.


A chart at:http://www.clean-diesel.org/highway.html states:

Refiners & Importers (must) Import/produce at least 80% ULSD for on highway use (by) 6/01/06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra-low_sulfur_diesel states:

On June 1st, 2006, U.S. refiners were required to produce 80% of their annual output as ULSD (15-ppm), and petroleum marketers and retailers were required to label diesel fuel, diesel fuel additives and kerosone pumps with EPA-authorized language disclosing fuel type and sulfur content. Other requirements effective June 1st, 2006, including EPA-authorized language on Product Transfer Documents and sulfur-content testing standards, are designed to prevent misfueling, contamination by higher-sulfur fuels and liability issues. The EPA deadline for industry compliance to a 15 ppm sulfur content was originally set for July 15, 2006 for distribution terminals, and by September 1, 2006 for retail. But on November 8, 2005, was extended by 45 days to September 1, 2006 for terminals and October 15, 2006 for retail. In California, the extension was not granted and will be following the original schedule.
 

Smoky

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Curt:

Thanks for the source references.  The Chevron report on leakage said:

"This problem is not exclusive to one
engine type, one fuel type, or one
geographic region. It can affect some
engines that are older than ten years, but
some newer ones have experienced the
problem as well.
The reoccurrence of these fuel leaks
could become widespread
geographically when the majority of fuel
supplies are switched to S15. However,
it is anticipated that only a very small
fraction of the vehicles may be affected."

Good that only a small fraction of engines will be affected.  But that won't help those who are.
 

Steve CDN

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Has anyone noticed any labelling of ULSD on  fuel pumps at truck stops, Flying J or any other diesel outlet while filling up in recent weeks?
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
Has anyone noticed any labelling of ULSD on? fuel pumps at truck stops, Flying J or any other diesel outlet while filling up in recent weeks?

No, I'm on road and taking fuel every day from truck islands at F-J and every pump has been labled for 500 ppm not ULSD. So, the reference to 80% on 9/1/06 just isn't the case on the I's but its still a week away for 10/15 mentioned.  Their going to have to do a lot of changeover work in next week to be at 80%. It'll be interesting.
 

Ron

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Steve said:
Has anyone noticed any labelling of ULSD on? fuel pumps at truck stops, Flying J or any other diesel outlet while filling up in recent weeks?

The local truck stop here in Lewistown has such signs displayed.
 

BernieD

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Stopped at a Chevron station this afternoon in Truth or Consequences, NM. The pump had a USLD label on it but the station was charging 34 cents more than Las Cruces so I only put in 20 gallons to get me to Las Cruces. Had a small nozzle so it would have taken me a very long time to put in the 110 gallons I needed so I cut it off at 20. Including reserve, had about 35 gallons in the tank, so can't tell yet how the USLD affects the power and mileage.
 

temberwolf

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Anyone out there hear anything regarding low sulfer diesel in Mexico. I would assume my 07 F250 diesel is confined to USA?
 

BernieD

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temberwolf said:
Anyone out there hear anything regarding low sulfer diesel in Mexico. I would assume my 07 F250 diesel is confined to USA?

Tember

If you already have your F250, not to worry. The ULSF rule only applies to engines built after 1/1/07.
 

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