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However, before harmonization can be achieved, countries are currently using various methods to avoid supply of illegal and off-spec products:
- Use of dyes, markers and tax incentives to differentiate multiple diesel grades by color;
- Encourage supply of better off-road diesel quality; or
- Simply put into place a fuel quality monitoring legislation and system.
The full report examines key developments in off-road diesel quality and vehicle emissions, and primarily focuses on issues regarding sulfur and FAME because of the legislative and regulatory developments occurring globally for these two parameters. Of the two, sulfur reduction is the more dominant issue being considered by governments and stakeholders globally. Notably, other properties such as lubricity and cold flow are important in determining off-road diesel quality and influencing the composition of emissions, but there is no legislative or regulatory activity for these at this time.
Although countries and regions are moving toward alignment of some parameters for off-road diesel, particularly sulfur, it will take time to achieve. Since countries have different configurations in place for their refining industries, diverse off-road vehicles and NRMM, and varying political and market conditions, it will not likely take place in the short to medium term.
Sulfur and FAME have been examined in this report because of the legislative and regulatory developments occurring globally for these two parameters, especially in the top off-road diesel markets. Current maximum off-road diesel sulfur limits worldwide vary widely, from 10 ppm to 30,000 ppm. Only two countries of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan will further reduce sulfur limits, or phase out off-road diesel specifications containing higher sulfur limits and eventually align with on-road diesel specifications.
Looking at the outlook for emission standards, the EU will move from its current Stage IV requirement to Stage V starting from 2018. Only Brazil will continue to implement PROCONVE MAR-I in 2019 depending on engine output, while there are no expected changes for other top 10 markets which continue to stay at Stage III or Tier 4 requirements.
As countries move toward stricter off-road vehicle and NRMM engine requirements, the role of fuel quality in safeguarding the functionality of vehicles and engines continues to develop. Sulfur-free diesel remains a critical prerequisite for cleaner and durable emission-control systems.
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