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The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health

Gasoline is about to get a whole lot cleaner as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks to reduce the amount of sulfur in fuel with a new regulation. 
According to the EPA, it's finalizing new rules that will cut the amount of sulfur in gasoline by two-thirds starting in 2017. The goal is to help automakers meet new emissions standards, increase vehicle performance and improve public health.
A vehicle's catalytic converter primarily controls emissions, but over time, sulfur in fuel can disable auto technologies that work to eliminate emissions. 
Sulfur took a massive hit in 2000 when the EPA required the amount be lowered from an average of 300 ppm (parts per million) to 30 ppm. When these new rules are finalized, that number will drop further to 10ppm nationwide by 2017. 
The EPA estimates an 80 percent reduction in emissions for cars and trucks from today’s fleet average, and a 60 percent reduction for heavy-duty vehicles.

[SOURCE: Automobile Magazine]

"These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By working with the auto industry, health groups, and other stakeholders, we're continuing to build on the Obama Administration's broader clean fuels and vehicles efforts that cut carbon pollution, clean the air we breathe, and save families money at the pump."
Automakers like the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers -- a trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG and others -- have welcomed the rules because it lowers the cost of technologies needed to improve fuel economy and meet emissions standards. The auto industry will spend about $200 billion to double the efficiency of the fleet by 2025 to 54.5 MPG.
The program is estimated to cost less than a penny per gallon of gasoline, and about $72 per vehicle. The annual cost of the overall program in 2030 is estimated to be about $1.5 billion. 
Putting these new rules in place would also improve public health. According to the EPA, the rules will annually prevent up to 30,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children; 2,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits; 2,000 premature deaths, and 1.4 million lost school days and work days. 
Total health-related benefits in 2030 are estimated to be between $8 billion and $23 billion annually.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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By JediJeb on 3/6/2014 5:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
As an example, most diesel sold in western countries is ULSD (ultra low sulphur), where it's defined as 15 ppm. Now that the US has sulfur similar standards, diesel engines don't have to be redesigned to enter the US (hence more models becoming available). Unless you've done extensive research in the field, you have no basis for saying a 10 ppm standard is unduly burdensome.

If it costs so little then why did Diesel go from being about 80% the cost of regular gasoline to about 120% or more versus the cost of regular gasoline when they lowered the sulfur content limits? Here regular gasoline costs $3.38 while diesel costs $4.10 before the regulation diesel would have been less than $3.00 in comparison.

The 1 cent per gallon cost is a joke. It is different between removing elemental and ionic sulfur versus removing organic sulfur. The last remaining sulfur in gasoline is organic sulfur and organic sulfur is a lot more similar in behavior to organic carbon in gasoline than the elemental sulfur is, making it hard to separate as what removes sulfur also tends to want to remove organic carbon molecules. I did my gradate thesis on coal chemistry and sulfur removal was part of that. Coal is chemically similar to petroleum and removing the organic sulfur is not easy in either.

Sulfur differs from carbon in much more meaningfully ways than color. I have to question if you even passed highschool when you're making such a ludicrous analogy. Chemical methods can eliminate impurities to less than 1 ppm in many different materials.

The comment still stands as a comparison and description of just what a small amount versus the whole 30ppm is. Also once sulfur is covalently bonded to carbon it no longer behaves that differently from the organic molecule it is a part of. Ionic sulfur like what is in sulfate is vastly different and easily removed, organosulfur compounds( ) are not so easily removed since the sulfur is imbedded in the compounds that actually make up gasoline.

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