Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Drawing from a series of field measurement activities including the Alternative Aviation Fuels Experiments (AAFEX1 and AAFEX2), we present experimental measurements of particle number, size, and composition-resolved mass that describe the physical and chemical evolution of aircraft exhaust plumes on the time scale of 5 sec to 2-3 min. As the plume ages, the particle number emission index initially increases by a factor of 10-50, due to gas-to-particle formation of a nucleation/growth mode, and then begins to fall with increased aging. Increasing the fuel sulfur content causes the initial increase to occur more rapidly. The contribution of the nucleation/growth mode to the overall particle number density is most pronounced at idle power and decreases with increasing engine power. Increasing fuel sulfur content - but not fuel aromatic content - causes the nucleation/growth mode to dominate the particle number emissions to higher powers than for a fuel with “normal” sulfur and aromatic content. Particle size measurements indicate that the observed particle number emissions trends are due to continuing gas-to-particle conversion and coagulation growth of the nucleation/growth mode particles, processes which simultaneously increase particle mass and reduce particle number density. Measurements of nucleation/growth mode mass are consistent with the interpretation of particle number and size data and suggest that engine exit plane measurements may underestimate the total particle mass by much as a factor of between 5 and 10.

Concepts: Particle physics, Experiment, Physical quantities, Particle, Fuel, Plume, Ultra-low sulfur diesel, Number density


Significant changes in emission sources have occurred in the northeastern United States over the past decade, due in part to the implementation of emissions standards, the introduction and addition of abatement technologies for road transport, changes in fuel sulfur content for road and non-road transport, as well as economic impacts of a major recession and differential fuel prices. These changes in emission scenarios likely affected the concentrations of airborne submicron particles. This study investigated the characteristics of 11-500nm particle number concentrations and their size spectra in Rochester, NY during the past 15years (2002 to 2016). The modal structure, diurnal, weekly and monthly patterns of particle number concentrations are analyzed. Long-term trends are quantified using seasonal-trend decomposition procedures based on “Loess”, Mann-Kendall regression with Theil-Sen slope and piecewise regression. Particle concentrations underwent significant (p<0.05) downward trends. An annual decrease of -323particles/cm3/y (-4.6%/y) was estimated for the total particle number concentration using Theil-Sen analysis. The trends were driven mainly by the decrease in particles in the 11-50nm range (-181particles/cm3/y; -4.7%/y). Slope changes were investigated annually and seasonally. Piecewise regression found different slopes for different portions of the overall period with the strongest declines between 2005 and 2011/2013, followed by small upward trends between 2013 and 2016 for most size bins, possibly representing increased vehicular traffic after the recovery from the 2008 recession.

Concepts: Time, United States, United Kingdom, Transport, New York City, Road, Late-2000s recession, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


The marine auxiliary diesel engines installed in the large transoceanic ships are used in order to generate the electricity but at the same time these engines are able to produce a significant amount of the harmful exhaust gas emissions. Therefore the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) concluded an agreement, which has to control generating of gaseous emissions in maritime transport. From this reason started to be used some of the alternative fuels in this branch. There was performed a study, which investigated emissions of the auxiliary marine diesel engine during application of the experimental fuels. The different testing fuels were created using the ratios 0%, 50%, 80% and 100% between the biodiesel and the ULSDF (Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel Fuel). The experimental measurements were performed at the different engine loading levels and various engine speeds in order to investigate an influence of the mixed fuels on the engine operational characteristics.

Concepts: Petroleum, Internal combustion engine, Diesel fuel, Diesel engine, Ship, Biodiesel, Rudolf Diesel, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Polymer nanofibers with interpenetrating network (IPN) morphology are used in this work for development of composite, hydrophobic filter media in conjunction with glass fibers for removal of water droplets from ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD). The nanofibers are produced from hydrophobic polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) and hydrophilic polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) by spinning the polymer solutions using gas jet fiber (GJF) method. The nanofibers coat the individual glass fibers due to polar-polar interactions during the spinning process and render the filter media highly hydrophobic with water contact angle approaching 150(○). The efficiency of the resultant filter media is evaluated in terms of separation of water droplets of average size 20 µm from the suspensions in ULSD.

Concepts: Acetic acid, Sulfur, Fiber, Polyvinyl alcohol, Polyvinyl acetate, Fiberglass, Diesel fuel, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Desulfurization of dibenzothiophene (DBT) and alkylated DBT derivatives present in transport fuel through specific cleavage of carbon-sulfur (C-S) bonds by a newly isolated bacterium Chelatococcus sp. is reported for the first time. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of the products of DBT degradation by Chelatococcus sp. showed the transient formation of 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2-HBP) which was subsequently converted to 2-methoxybiphenyl (2-MBP) by methylation at the hydroxyl group of 2-HBP. The relative ratio of 2-HBP and 2-MBP formed after 96 h of bacterial growth was determined at 4:1 suggesting partial conversion of 2-HBP or rapid degradation of 2-MBP. Nevertheless, the enzyme involved in this conversion process remains to be identified. This production of 2-MBP rather than 2-HBP from DBT desulfurization has a significant metabolic advantage for enhancing the growth and sulfur utilization from DBT by Chelatococcus sp. and it also reduces the environmental pollution by 2-HBP. Furthermore, desulfurization of DBT derivatives such as 4-M-DBT and 4, 6-DM-DBT by Chelatococcus sp. resulted in formation of 2-hydroxy-3-methyl-biphenyl and 2-hydroxy -3, 3/- dimethyl-biphenyl, respectively as end product. The GC and X-ray fluorescence studies revealed that Chelatococcus sp. after 24 h of treatment at 37°C reduced the total sulfur content of diesel fuel by 12% by per gram resting cells, without compromising the quality of fuel. The LC-MS/MS analysis of tryptic digested intracellular proteins of Chelatococcus sp. when grown in DBT demonstrated the biosynthesis of 4S pathway desulfurizing enzymes viz. monoxygenases (DszC, DszA), desulfinase (DszB), and an NADH-dependent flavin reductase (DszD). Besides, several other intracellular proteins of Chelatococcus sp. having diverse biological functions were also identified by LC-MS/MS analysis. Many of these enzymes are directly involved with desulfurization process whereas the other enzymes/proteins support growth of bacteria at an expense of DBT. These combined results suggest that Chelatococcus sp. prefers sulfur-specific extended 4S pathway for deep-desulphurization which may have an advantage for its intended future application as a promising biodesulfurizing agent.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Amino acid, Molecular biology, Metabolism, Enzyme, Sulfur, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


The aim of this investigation was to quantify organic and inorganic gas emissions from a four-cylinder diesel engine equipped with urea-SCR system. Using a bench dynamometer, the emissions from the following mixtures were evaluated using an FTIR spectrometer: low sulfur diesel (LSD), ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) and a blend of 20 % soybean biodiesel and 80% ULSD (B20). For all studied fuels, the use of the SCR system yielded statistically significant (p<0.05) lower NOx emissions. In the case of the LSD and ULSD fuels, the SCR system also significantly reduced emissions of compounds with high photochemical ozone creation potential, such as formaldehyde. However, for all tested fuels, the SCR system produced significantly (p<0.05) higher emissions of N2O. In the case of LSD, the NH3 emissions were elevated and in the case of ULSD and B20 fuels, the non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) and total hydrocarbon (HCD) emissions were significantly higher.

Concepts: Oxygen, Hydrogen, Petroleum, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Internal combustion engine, Diesel fuel, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


A model diesel fuel containing 250ppmw sulfur (as dibenzothiophene) in n-hexadecane was desulfurized at low temperatures in absence of hydrogen, down to about zero ppmwS on a novel adsorbent of well dispersed 3-12nm Nix-Cu10-x (x=Ni wt%) nanoparticles formed by impregnation on γ-Al2O3 and reduced in H2 at 275 or 450°C. The sorbents were characterized by XRD, TEM-EDX, FESEM-EDS, H2-TPR, TPO, BJH and BET surface area measurement techniques. Effects of various parameters comprising Cu content, reduction and desulfurization temperatures, inhibition by naphthalene, and regeneration of spent sorbents were investigated. As copper is added to nickel: (a) the sorbent reduction temperature shifts to dramatically lower values, (b) sulfur adsorption capacity of the sorbents at lower reduction and desulfurization temperatures is significantly improved, and when 14wt% Ni5Cu5 sorbent is added to the fuel, the sulfur content reduces from 250ppmwS to about zero in less than 1min, © loss of adsorption capacity after the regeneration of the spent sorbent reduced at 275°C is significantly diminished, and (d) the selectivity of the sorbents to dibenzothiophene in the presence of naphthalene is improved. A higher reduction temperature tends to agglomerate nickel nanoparticles and reduce the sulfur adsorption capacity.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Iron, Hydrogen, Hydrogenation, Carbon, Copper, Reducing agent, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Regulatory requirements for renewable content in diesel fuel have been adopted in Canada. Fatty acid alkyl esters, i.e., biodiesel, will likely be used to meet the regulations. However, the impacts on ambient atmospheric pollutant concentrations and human health outcomes associated with the use of biodiesel fuel blends in heavy duty diesel vehicles across Canada have not been evaluated. The objective of this study was to assess the potential human health implications of the widespread use of biodiesel in Canada compared to those from ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD). The health impacts/benefits resulting from biodiesel use were determined with the Air Quality Benefits Assessment Tool, based on output from the AURAMS air quality modeling system and the MOBILE6.2C on-road vehicle emissions model. Scenarios included runs for ULSD and biodiesel blends with 5 and 20 percent of biodiesel by volume, and compared their use in 2006 and 2020. Although modeling and data limitations exist, the results of this study suggested that the use of biodiesel fuel blends compared to ULSD was expected to result in very minimal changes in air quality and health benefits/costs across Canada, and these were likely to diminish over time.

Concepts: Nutrition, Petroleum, Sulfur, Atmosphere, Diesel fuel, Diesel engine, Biodiesel, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel has been integrated into the worldwide fuel infrastructure to help meet a variety of environmental regulations. However, desulfurization alters the properties of diesel fuel in ways that could potentially impact its biological stability. Fuel desulfurization might predispose ULSD to biodeterioration relative to sulfur-rich fuels, and in marine systems accelerate rates of sulfate reduction, sulfide production, and carbon steel biocorrosion. To test such prospects, an inoculum from a seawater-compensated ballast tank was amended with fuel from the same ship or with refinery fractions of ULSD, low- (LSD), and high sulfur diesel (HSD) and monitored for sulfate depletion. The rates of sulfate removal in incubations amended with the refinery fuels were elevated relative to the fuel-unamended controls, but statistically indistinguishable (~50 µM SO4/day), but was found to be roughly twice as fast (~100 µM SO4/day ) when the ship’s own diesel was used as a source of carbon and energy. Thus, anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism likely occurred in these incubations regardless of fuel sulfur content. Microbial community structure from each incubation was also largely independent of the fuel amendment type, based on molecular analysis of ribosomal 16s rRNA sequences. Two other inocula known to catalyze anaerobic hydrocarbon metabolism showed no differences in fuel-associated sulfate reduction or methanogenesis rates between ULSD, LSD, and HSD. These findings suggest that the stability of diesel is independent of the fuel organosulfur compound status and reasons for the accelerated biocorrosion associated with the use of ULSD should be sought elsewhere.

Concepts: Ribosomal RNA, Gasoline, Petroleum, Sulfur, Hydrogen sulfide, Methane, Diesel fuel, Ultra-low sulfur diesel


Biodesulfurization is regarded as a promising alternative technology for desulfurization from diesel oil due to its mild operating conditions and its ability to remove sulfur from alky dibenzothiophenes (C(x)-DBTs). The diesel oil contains complex mixtures of C(x)-DBTs in which individual microbial biodesulfurization may be altered. In this work, interactions among three typical C(x)-DBTs such as dibenzothiophenes (DBT), 4-methyldibenzothiophene (4-MDBT), and 4,6-dimethyldibenzothiophene (4,6-DMDBT) were investigated using Mycobacterium sp. ZD-19 in an airlift reactor. The experimental results indicated that the desulfurization rates would decrease in the multiple C(x)-DBTs system compared to the single C(x)-DBT system. The extent of inhibition depended upon the substrate numbers, concentrations, and affinities of the co-existing substrates. For example, compared to individual desulfurization rate (100 %), DBT desulfurization rate decreased to 75.2 % (DBT + 4,6-DMDBT), 64.8 % (DBT + 4-MDBT), and 54.7 % (DBT + 4,6-DMDBT + 4-MDBT), respectively. This phenomenon was caused by an apparent competitive inhibition of substrates, which was well predicted by a Michaelis-Menten competitive inhibition model.

Concepts: Enzyme kinetics, Petroleum, Diesel fuel, Oil refinery, Ultra-low sulfur diesel