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Beijing raises fuel standards

(Global Times)

08:15, December 09, 2011

A government draft regulation proposes to cut emissions by lowering sulfur content in fuels, at the expense of their anti-knock property. Car emissions are the No. 1 source of air pollution in Beijing. Photo: Guo Yingguang/GT

Beijing intends to improve fuel quality, especially by reducing the sulfur content in gasoline.

Residents are happy to see the reductions in automobile exhaust emissions, a big source of air pollution, but they are also concerned about rises in gasoline prices.

The Beijing Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision (BBQTS) launched a draft regulation of new standards applying to gasoline and diesel in the city on its official website Wednesday, and asked the public to submit opinions by January 7.

In the new standards, the current fuel grades, which have octane ratings of 90, 93, and 97 will be replaced by lower octane ratings of 89, 92 and 95 to "meet a stricter emission standard."

Octane ratings are a general measure of the anti-knock, or the performance of an engine, and generally, the higher the number, the better the performance. However, BBQTS told the Beijing Evening News that in order to lower the sulfur content, the anti-knock ability will be slightly reduced, but within a small range. Drivers would not feel any difference, BBQTS said.

The stricter emission standards were revealed by the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection (BMEP) this January, saying that Beijing would impose the national standard V (based on Euro V guidelines, the strictest emission standard at present) for vehicle emissions in 2012, around the same time as developed countries.

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