Talk:Ultra-low-sulfur diesel

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Sulfur a lubricant?[edit]

The article says: "Sulfur acts as a lubricant in diesel, and by lowering the sulfur content there is a corresponding drop in the fuel's lubricity."

Do we have a source for this? I've heard that this is false: sulfur is just plain bad for fuel. The reason for this myth, I've heard, is that a common mechanism for removing sulfur from petrodiesel also breaks down larger hydrocarbon molecules that provide lubrication. That is, ULSD may have less lubrication, but it's not because sulfur is a lubricant, but because the process of removing the sulfur also broke down some of the fuel's inherent lubrication.

For example, [1] says "The processing required to reduce sulfur to 15 ppm also removes naturally-occurring lubricity agents in diesel fuel."

It is absolutely true that sulfer acts as a lubricant. What doesn't make sense is that the gov't should be mandating the ULSD be 1 or 2% biodiesel as a way to phase biodiesel into the market. According to the studies I've seen 15PPM ULSD with 1% bio has the same lubricity as 500PPM dino.
If it's true that sulfur acts as a lubricant, do you have a source we can cite? All the sources I've found say the opposite, e.g., Chevron, NATSO, MassTransit, ...
According to your MassTransit source, "The hydrotreating that removes the sulfur will also result in lower lubricity with ULSD." This doesn’t make it clear that sulfur wasn’t the whole cause of the lubricity, and so I think someone just made an assumption. Traal 17:42, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

It is definitely not the sulfur that gives diesel fuel its lubricating properties, it is the cocktail of various polar and aromatic compounds that are taken out as a by-product of reducing the sulfur content. This article explains it pretty well: Hildenja (talk) 13:11, 31 August 2016 (UTC)

Canada and Mexico?[edit]

I assume Canada has harmonized its standards with the US? What about Mexico? Those buying a new diesel expecting ULSD fuel who travel are curious.

I know at least Canadian standards are the same. Here is an article about it [2]

authors of the above: please sign your comments! --Treekids (talk) 23:27, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Canada has curiously decided to label Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) as Low Sulphur Diesel (LSD) or no label at all. There is no requirement to label since all on-highway diesel is supposed to be ULSD. The label consists of a yellow background with a black circle with the words Low Sulphur Diesel around the circumference of the circle. [3]. This apparent misnomer is in direct conflict with the labelling strategy in the USA which is regulated by the EPA. [4]. Generally, Low Sulphur Diesel (LSD) refers to the diesel product that contains <500ppm sulphur. This caused me considerable angst and I had to go to extrodinary steps to try and locate ULSD which is required in my vehicle. In my quest I did find one supplier with the above mentioned yellow label but the words on that label were Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel. In the vicinity of my home most diesel vendors have adopted the green labels specified by the EPA in the USA. This is probably due to the high volume of US travellers in this area. Rodeworthy (talk) 15:11, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Will this also affect kerosene? Since many diesel owners cut their fuel with kerosene in winter for easier start up, I thought there may be some problems. Mustang6172 05:06, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes. Shortly after the phase in of on-road ULSD began in the United States on June 1, 2006, the EPA clarified that "Kerosene meets the definition of diesel fuel since it is a distillate fuel that is suitable for use in diesel engines and it is considered No. 1 diesel fuel (40 CFR 80.2(x)). Since it is diesel fuel, the applicable sulfur standards and pump labeling requirements depend on how it is distributed and used." (Source) Necessary changes will have to be made to this document. --Jcollura 04:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

A little clarification: Kerosene designated as no. 1 highway diesel is subject to the same sulfur requirements as no. 2 highway diesel. Kerosene for home heating use is subject to the same sulfur requirements of home heating oil. All distillate (diesel, heating oil, kerosene) is subject to the pump labeling requirements.

Author of the above- please sign your comments! --Treekids (talk) 23:28, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


Isn't the spelling normally sulfur, especially in North America where this is mostly used? But I guess ULSD could be a British name that kept its spelling. 20:55, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Normally in the sense of US spelling (British, Canadian and other is sulphur. Unless there is a need to change, let's leave at sulphur throughout.--Gregalton 17:25, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Despite this articles US centric intro ultra low sulphur deisel is the norm over here in the uk too and the article indeed mentions "similar to changes that took place in the european union" implying we have alreayd been using this stuff for a while. Plugwash 01:45, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Though there is another possible reason for going to the spelling "sulfur" and that is that sulfer is the inernationally standardised spelling for the element name. Plugwash 01:47, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Plugwash: you are contracticting Gregalton. Thus you should cite evidence of your claim. --Treekids (talk) 23:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

EU general and CIS / Russia[edit]

I have flushed out these sections a little, but the sources I found on them were not sufficiently clear (and a bit out of date). I will keep looking but hope that others can also add what information they can find.--Gregalton 17:23, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


right now this article begins with a very US centric intro then goes on to provide information about sulpher in deisel in general. I therefore propose moving this article to a more general title like sulfur in deisel and then rewriting the intro to be a summary of information from different parts of the world and draw any desired contrasts between them (e.g. the fact that the US jumped from 500 to 15 bypassing the 50 that seems significant in european/european influenced places). The main detailed sections could then remain mostly as they are though possiblly gain a bit more history. Any objections? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Plugwash (talkcontribs) 02:02, 1 April 2007 (UTC).

Sounds like a good idea.--Gregalton 08:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
If the term ULSD is used outside the USA, then perhaps this article should be kept, and more non-USA material should be added. On the other hand, if other nations reduced sulfur without renaming or under different names, then I concur. Regardless, there's room for improvement. Though I would suggest naming it sulfur in diesel rather than sulfur in deisel :-P . --Treekids (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposed Merger to Diesel Fuel Article[edit]

I believe that this article should be condensed and merged into the article on diesel fuel. By 2010, nearly all diesel fuel markets in industrialized nations will have completely moved to Ultra-low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel or will be well on their way. It doesn't make sense to have an article on ULSD, it is like having a seperate article for unleaded gasoline. I propose renaming the article as "Regulation of Sulfur Content in Diesel Fuel" or something similiar and moving it into the Diesel Fuel article. --Jcollura 04:34, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is generally based on inclusionist principles. given the size of this article to make it part of the deisel fuel article would almost certainly involve throwing away a lot of information. For the record i'm also quite sure that if someone wanted to do the reasearch enough information can be put together for a very reasonable article on lead in petrol. Plugwash 10:44, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
ULSD is referenced commonly on the web and in industry, so it should have an article in Wikipedia. If there's a lot about sulfer in the Diesel article, perhaps it should be reduced and replaced with a reference here. --Treekids (talk) 23:31, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I removed the merge tag as consensus for the merge does not appear to be building. Additionally the article appears to have matured into a nice size stand alone article. Jeepday (talk) 02:29, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


This page seems to have at least some sentences in common with the following Chevron FAQ:

Chris Combs 03:45, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Wow. So which way are you claiming the plagiarism goes, hmmm? --Treekids (talk) 23:33, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

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