Emissions regulations around the globe are tightening, so engine makers and refineries will be scurrying to meet requirements. Diesel engines are evolving to provide lower emissions, using both mechanical and electronic techniques, and refineries are going to require upgrades, particularly in the U.S.
"The U.S. fuels have an average cetane number of 44. That's the world's worst, including emerging countries," says Loren Beard, senior manager at DaimlerChrysler Environmental and Energy Planning in Auburn Hills, MI. The cetane number measures the ignition quality and efficiency of diesel fuel.
Speakers at the recent Diesel Engine Emissions Reduction conference in Chicago detailed the many approaches to meeting emissions requirements, which all require a move to low sulphur fuels. Engine designers are watching the international moves closely, since engines must operate on these fuels. "