May 01, 2018

A Global Overview and Outlook of Gasoline Quality, Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Efficiency

Stratas Advisors

This excerpt is from a report that is available to subscribers of Stratas Advisors’ Global Fuel Specifications service.

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The full report examines key global developments in gasoline quality, vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency. Sulfur reduction and octane enhancement continue to be the two most dominant gasoline fuel quality issues being considered by governments and stakeholders globally.

In the full report, sulfur is further discussed in the case studies of Argentina and Iran, where sulfur reduction in emerging markets often comes with the challenges of delays in refinery upgrades and timely distribution. In addition, a case study for Vietnam is discussed in the octane section of the report, which investigates the adulteration of gasoline with solvents thereby decreasing octane levels.

Other properties such as benzene, aromatics and olefins are important in determining gasoline quality as well as influencing the composition of emissions, but there is lesser legislative or regulatory activity for these parameters at this time. It is worthwhile to note that a worldwide benzene reduction to 1 vol% max still ensues in countries which have yet to set the limit primarily in developing regions. 

Looking at lead phase out, Algeria is the last standing country with leaded gasoline still available on their market (see figure below). Deadlines to phase out lead in Algeria have been revised for a number of times.

Lead get out of here

Stratas Advisors' Views

Most countries are reviewing gasoline specifications and trying to align gasoline parameters with regional or international standards. Even if some regions are already harmonized, it will still take some time for others to achieve this goal. Developing countries are in the progress of primarily reducing sulfur content, but also looking at decreasing benzene, aromatics and olefins content, while both developing and developed countries alike have plans to further increase octane to enable advanced emission control technologies on vehicles. The timeframe for implementation of stricter harmonized standards will vary country by country, since there are different configurations in place for their refining industries, varying fuel import sources, diverse vehicle fleets and/or erratic political and market conditions. 

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