What is it about?
This paper presents the results of a survey in automotive diesel samples obtained from service stations in the Athens area. For this purpose one hundred and twelve fuel samples were randomly collected from several service stations during the period from April 1998 until June 1999. These samples are representative of the automotive diesel distributed in the Athens area from all the oil companies operating in Greece. The laboratory examination involved the analysis both for any adulteration with the cheaper domestic heating diesel or marine diesel, and for some key properties of the automotive diesel. The ASTM standard methods were applied for the determination of the Sulfur and Nitrogen content, the Density at 15°C, the Cetane Index, the kinematic Viscocity at 40oC and the Distillation Properties of Initial Boiling Point of the fuel (IBP), 10% volume of the fuel (D10), 50% volume of the fuel (D50), 90% volume of the fuel (D90) and the Final Boiling Point (FBP). The results indicate that there is a large fluctuation for the fuel properties among the oil marketers. Forty-six samples were found to be adulterated with the cheaper diesel (domestic heating or marine diesel fuel) during the sampling period. This means that more than 40% of the automotive diesel distributed in Athens, suffers from some degree of adulteration. One sample was found to be outside the current specifications of density maybe due to contamination with White Spirit. The fuel adulteration problem is associated with environmental pollution, problems in engine performance and tax losses. It is a common problem not only to the European countries but practically for every nation in the world. The European Union expressed recently its concern on this issue, mandating that by the year 2002 all the member states will promote the development of a uniform system for fuel quality monitoring.
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Why is it important?
One of the most fuel-efficient engines available is the diesel engine. It is the engine of choice for the commercial and heavy-duty transportation industry. Increasingly stringent legislated exhaust emission levels are driving improvements in both engine technology and fuel quality around the world.
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This page is a summary of: A survey of the automotive diesel quality in the Athens area, International Journal of Energy Research, January 2001, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/er.764.
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