Houston, Texas – Canada has ranked 33rd out of the top 100 countries based on sulphur limits in diesel in a report issued by the International Fuel Quality Center (IFQC), one ahead of the United States, which placed 34th.

Sweden was at the top of the ranking, with the earliest implementation of the lowest sulphur limits. It was followed, in order, by Germany and Japan.

“There is a tremendous need to address the overall increase in transportation emissions, especially as populations and their need for transportation continue to grow,” said Liisa Kiuru, executive director of IFQC. “Additionally, desulphurization is expanding beyond on-road fuels; efforts are now being focused on reducing sulphur limits in marine fuels, non- and off-road fuels, and home heating oil.”

Sulphur is a compound found naturally in crude oil, and passes into refined products when crude is processed at the refinery. Diesel desulphurization dramatically improves tailpipe emissions; sulphur acts like a poison to after-treatment systems, so lower sulphur content means improved system performance, which reduces emissions even further. However, taking sulphur out of diesel decreases the fuel’s lubricity, requiring additives to compensate. As little as one per cent of biodiesel added to diesel can address certain lubricity problems caused by desulphurization.

All European Union countries placed within the top 50; nearly 100 per cent market penetration of 10 ppm diesel, or “sulphur-free” diesel, is expected in the EU in 2009. Many Asian countries placed toward the top of the ranking, including South Korea at 35th and Hong Kong at 36th; China placed 65th.

The complete list of all countries can be found at IFQC.org.

Connect with Autos.ca