China Steps Up Their Pollution Standards

Published on Author crastoa16

China has just announced that they are adopting higher standards for fuel cleanliness in the effort to lessen pollution in the country. “The nation will adopt a new fuel standard that caps sulfur content in gasoline at 10 parts per million by the end of 2016.” This is one year ahead of an original deadline previously set by the State Council. Pollution in China has become a serious problem over the last thirty years when manufacturing has hit an all-time high.

downloadOne persisting issue in China is that fuel refiners and government issues find it hard to agree on things. Refiners would like to pass on the billions of yuan worth of fuel upgrade costs on to the end-consumer, but the retail prices are set by the government. Refiners essentially have to eat the cost entirely by themselves. “China Petrochemical Corp., the nation’s top refiner, said it will spend 30 billion yuan ($4.8 billion) a year upgrading fuel quality. China National Petroleum Corp., will spend 15 billion yuan for the same effort.”

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about how falsified air pollution records had been discovered. Once again, pollution seems to be one of China’s biggest internal issues. It concerns the government, the citizens, and the outside world. Recently, China has been making a lot of strict plans to reduce the pollution they are contributing to the atmosphere. However, it seems like as they try to clean up their act, they hits walls at every turn. Whether it is corruption or economic issues, it is clear that the cleaning up of China’s air will take a lot of money and effort.


One Response to China Steps Up Their Pollution Standards

  1. SOx is a big deal, and sulfur levels are a major barrier to “clean” diesel because they destroy catalytic converters and particulate filters, while modern diesel engines are optimized for high compressions that create pollutants that can be catalyzed. A clean diesel is now on the whole as clean or cleaner in emissions than a gasoline engine. You can stuff white cloth in the tailpipe and it comes out clean. China is following the Euro 5 standards; the US ULSD limit is 15 ppm, in part due to pushback from refiners that you note is also observed in China.

    Sulfur is what gives diesel engines their peculiar smell. More important, diesel exhaust is a major contributor to smog in China, so cleaning up fuel is a huge enabler.