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Company says it has developed cleaner burning diesel fuel


March 24, 1999
Web posted at: 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT)

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- A Los Angeles-based producer of petroleum products announced Wednesday it has developed a cleaner burning diesel fuel that could reduce soot emissions from buses, trucks and cars.

Preliminary testing of the new fuel, called Emission Control Diesel, resulted in up to a 15 percent reduction in the particles that comprise soot and a 5 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, with no loss in fuel economy.

The first round of tests involved only six trucks and buses and three laboratory engines.

ARCO, the company that developed the new diesel, will now conduct an expanded testing program using the fuel in 150 trucks and buses. The California Air Resources Board and other agencies will take part in the next phase of testing.

Diesel fuel has come under increased scrutiny in recent years due to environmental concerns. In California, the state has declared particles in diesel exhaust as carcinogens, and lawsuits over exposure to diesel exhaust have been filed.

The EPA has also been examining the issue of diesel fuel exhaust.

While the new fuel works in existing engines, ARCO spokesman Paul Langland said the benefits of the fuel are greatly increased when combined with a catalytic converter -- a chemical filter system often attached to mufflers that help reduce air pollution.

The combination, according to Langland, is up to a 90 percent reduction in emissions.

ARCO hopes to make the new fuel available for sale in California if the program confirms the initial testing. The fuel is being produced at its Carson, California, refinery at a cost of 10 to 15 cents above the cost of conventional diesel fuel.

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ARCO Chemical Company Home Page
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