EghtesadOnline: The Research Institute of Petroleum Industry has plans to improve the quality of gasoline and diesel by reducing sulfur content, head of the RIPI said.
“In addition to the regular technology for removing sulfur, we have done research and developed new technology that can significantly reduce sulfur,” ISNA quoted Jaffar Tofiqi as saying.
Sulfur is a natural component in crude oil that is present in gasoline and diesel unless removed. Reducing sulfur in gasoline enables advanced emission controls and reduces air pollution.
“A plan is in place to design and set up a sulfur recovery unit in Ilam Petrochemical Complex, which will have a definite role in reducing sulfur in gasoline and diesel,” Financial Tribune quoted Tofiqi as saying.
In phases 2 and 3 of the giant South Pars Gas Field in the Persian Gulf there is a project underway to remove mercaptan sulfur from natural gas.
Worsening air pollution in metropolises in the country is largely (and understandably) blamed on the huge number of gas-guzzlers and fuel-intensive vehicles built by local carmakers, including new models. Gasoline and diesel use in Iran is among highest in the world in per capita terms.
Iranians use 95 million liters of gasoline per day and daily diesel consumption in the country is about 85 million liters.
There are close to 20 million cars in Iran of which 1.3 are not road worthy. The figure is expected to rise to 2 million in less than five years.
There are over 500,000 trucks, buses and minis buses in the country, which run on diesel. The manufacturing dates of many of them go back to over 25 years ago.
Results of a recent study conducted by Tehran Air Quality Control Company on gasoline and diesel quality showed both fuels sold in the capital in summer contained sulfur above acceptable standards.
The study indicated that the quantity of this harmful chemical element in gasoline (regular and premium) on average was 180 parts per million, three times above the maximum sulfur content of 50 PPM set by the European Union.
The company said average sulfur content in premium gasoline samples was estimated at around 170 PPM. The figure for regular gasoline was 190 PPM.
Tehran Air Quality Control Company, affiliated to Tehran Municipality, is in charge of monitoring air quality in the highly-polluted and overpopulated capital that is home to almost 13 million people and one of the most car-dependent cities in the world. The air quality company publishes seasonal reports on fuel parameters and their impact on air pollution.
The National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company, however, has denied the TAQCC claims, saying that the latest report by the Iran National Standards Organization shows average sulfur content in gasoline and diesel in Tehran is below 50 PPM, similar to other regions in the country and that the fuels produced in Iran comply with Euro-4 standards.
Founded in 1959 in Tehran, RIPI is a research and development arm of the Oil Ministry. It is a major research institute in Iran and the largest of its kind in the Middle East.
RIPI focuses on creating added value by producing and commercializing technology and indigenizing new technologies.