Houston, Texas – A new report by the International Fuel Quality Center (IFQC) indicates that Canada ranks 11th among the top 100 countries for sulphur limits in national clean gasoline standards. Germany ranked first, followed by Japan and Sweden, while the U.S. placed ninth overall. The IFQC said that if California was a country, it would have ranked among the top achievers.

“Focus on sulphur reduction for clean burning gasoline has increased dramatically since 2000,” said Liisa Kiuru, executive director of IFQC. “Desulphurization is now expanding beyond on-road fuels. Discussions are already underway regarding further reduction of sulphur limits in marine fuels and increasing the number of sulphur emission controlled areas in E.U. and U.S. waters, for example.”

Sulphur is found naturally in crude oil and passes into refined productions when the crude is refined. When sulphur is emitted into the air as a result of fuel combustion, its environmental effects can contribute to acid rain. Gasoline desulphurization improves engine efficiency and leads to reduced overall emissions of sulphur, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

“Germany’s number-one ranking is especially noteworthy because the country’s move to sulphur-free gasoline was influenced by tax incentives two years before legislation was introduced in 2005,” Kiuru said. “That is a tremendous accomplishment and one that Japan has also mirrored.”

All European Union countries placed within the top 50, and nearly 100 per cent market penetration of sulphur-free fuels (less than 10 parts per million) is expected in the E.U. by 2009. At the bottom end of the ranking, six nations from Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East were tied for last place.

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