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EghtesadOnline: The level of the hazardous elements in gasoline in Iran complies with quantity set by the European Union emission standards, spokesman of the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company said.

"The quantity of aromatic compounds and benzene are 35% and 1% respectively—the same levels set by the EU," Mahdi Esmaeli was quoted as saying by ILNA.

The average sulfur content in gasoline is around 40 part per million (PPM). Last summer the figure was 180 PPM, he added, noting that levels of aromatic hydrocarbons are regularly checked in refineries and NIOPDC’s laboratories.

Moreover, the Department of Environment and the Iranian National Standards Organization collect samples from different filling stations in regular intervals (at least twice a year) and control the levels of aromatic hydrocarbons in them.

“A joint study conducted by the DoE and INSO on gasoline quality between March to July 2020 indicates that the fuel contains acceptable levels of sulfur and other chemicals.”

The level of sulphur oxides (SOx) in gasoline has never exceeded 50 PPM mainly due to reduction of sulfur in the fuel.

According to the official, sulfur levels have declined compared to the summer of last year. Aromatic compounds, benzene, octane and olefin too are at acceptable levels.

As part of the study, “samples of gasoline compliant with Euro-4 emission standards were taken randomly from 200 gas stations and the results showed that sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbon levels were admissible.”

Last summer the DoE found out that the quantity of harmful elements in gasoline (aromatic compounds and benzene) was 40% and 1.4% respectively -- above levels set by the EU (35% and 1%). However, that has now decreased 5% and 0.4% respectively.

Referring to other elements like sulfur (40%), octane (91.5%) and olefin (4%), the NIOPDC chief said the indices comply with “defined standards”.

The DoE is responsible for checking the quality of gasoline and INSO gets involved when necessary.

Production and distribution of gasoline compliant with Euro-5 standards are priority issue, the Oil Ministry has said.



Low-Quality Diesel 

In related news, ILNA reported Nayereh Pirouzbakht, head of INSO, as saying that NIOPDC has improved gasoline quality in recent years, but sale of low-quality diesel and slack environmental rules are still blocking efforts to curb the worsening air pollution in rapidly expanding urban areas.

Lack of regulations [supply side] for standard diesel is one of the main reasons behind the worsening air pollution in metropolises.

“INSO and the DoE want to make emission standards mandatory for diesel, a polluting fuel that unlike gasoline does not meet European emission standards in Iran”.

INSO, which is responsible for monitoring gas stations, inspected 80,000 sites (between March and July), of which 2,000 were malfunctioning and needed repairs.

There are frequent reports about pumps with inaccurate meters and nozzles that do not function properly, but the Oil Ministry has almost always rejected the claims.

According to the senior official, there are more than 2,700 compressed natural gas stations with more than 100,000 storage tanks. INSO checked 24,000 tanks, of which 1,680 were faulty.

Demand for car engine conversions to CNG hybrids shot up from last November when the government rationed and tripled the price of fuel. Not surprisingly, the number of illegal conversion centers has popped up in major cities as motorists push for buying the cheaper fuel. 

The NIOPDC recently issued a warning about the potential danger of converting gasoline cars to CNG at uncertified conversion centers.


Iran oil products gasoline EU Standards