Archive for the ‘standards’ Category

updated standards page and new fuel quality standard for guangdong

Monday, July 12th, 2010


Graduate school has prevented me from posting much over the last few months, but with classes now over I hope to play catch up and begin to post more regularly again.

For starters, I updated the links on the standards page of this blog; this includes fixing broken links and adding a few new ones.

Perhaps most notable is the addition of new fuel quality standards for all of Guangdong province. The new standards, called Guangdong IV (“粤IV”), apply to both gasoline and diesel, and took effect on 6/1/10. The standards call for maximum of 50 ppm sulfur level for both gasoline and diesel. Lowering sulfur levels in fuel, especially diesel fuel, is a critical step towards the introduction of the cleanest vehicle technologies. I will post separately on this. In the meantime, here are links to the standards (Chinese): Guangdong IV gasoline - DB44/ 694-2009; Guangdong IV diesel - DB44/ 695-2009.

SAC website shows new diesel standard

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

The Standardization Administration of China is now listing a new automobile diesel fuel standard on its website. The standard, GB 19147-2009, is shown with an Issuance Date of 6/12/2009 and an Execute (Implementation) Date of 1/1/2010:

new diesel standard

In May of this year, the State Council announced that a new diesel fuel quality standard would be mandated by 2010, but no date was given. This SAC notice may be our first indication that China intends to implement China III quality diesel fuel (350ppm sulfur content) nationwide on January 1st.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a full version of the standard; it seems unusual that the text of a (theoretically) issued standard is not available. Let’s not celebrate until we read the full text, but if China does in fact mandate nationwide 350ppm sulfur diesel fuel at the beginning of next year, this is a huge win for air quality and the introduction of more advanced diesel emission control technologies.

state council announces new diesel fuel quality standards

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Yesterday, China’s State Council announced the “Petrochemical Industry Restructuring and Revitalization Plan” (Chinese only) which mandates nationwide China III quality gasoline fuel by 2009 and nationwide China III diesel fuel by 2010 (2009年车用汽油全部达到国Ⅲ标准,2010年车用柴油全部达到国Ⅲ标准). The announcement also says that any fuels not meeting these standards may not be sold into the marketplace (严格执行油品质量标准,严禁达不到国家规定标准的油品进入市场) after the implementation dates.

As far as I can tell, for gasoline fuels, this announcement merely confirms existing standards and implementation dates. However, for diesel fuel, this is a big deal, due to implications on the timeline for improving diesel fuel quality.

The specific issue I’m referencing here is fuel sulfur content. Lowering fuel sulfur content is critical for reducing vehicle emissions and allowing implementation of advanced vehicle emission control technologies. (Sorry I don’t have time to write more on this right now; some background in this post.)

The China III fuel quality targets for sulfur content are 150ppm for gasoline and 350ppm for diesel. Although the timeline for reducing gasoline sulfur content to 150ppm has been fixed for some time (by GB17930-2006), there was, until now, no confirmation of the timeline for reducing nationwide diesel sulfur content to 350ppm. As such, this represents a concrete and important step towards the desulfurization of China’s motor fuel.

More analysis / commentary to come, and a link to the final standard when it is formally released (as opposed to just being announced by the State Council). For those of you who want to keep track at home, I’ve recently discovered that you can search planned and upcoming standards on SAC’s home page, by clicking on the 国家标准计划查询 link. In this case, searching for 车用柴油 will show you standard plan 20075424-T-469, which is in the 报批阶段, or final draft for approval, stage.

Lastly, here’s a table, as far as I understand the current situation, showing nationwide fuel sulfur content in China:

sulfur content

comparing international standards

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

One of the most important first steps in an air pollution control strategy is to set air quality goals. Here, I will explore from a standards perspective how China’s air quality targets match up to the rest of the world’s. I’ll be looking at three sets of standards – China’s, the United States’, and the World Health Organization’s.

Let’s start with sources:

China air quality standards: The target for ambient air in urban areas in China is the National Grade II Standard, which is specified by National Standard GB 3095-1996, first issued in 1996 and then updated in 2000 (surprisingly, the update actually created less stringent air quality targets for certain pollutants).

United States air quality standards: The US EPA specifies air quality targets in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

WHO air quality standards: International WHO air quality guidelines were issued in 2005, replacing the European-focused standards published in 2000. The 2005 WHO guidelines include both ideal targets as well as interim targets for developing countries. For comparison, I have included here both the final targets and the Interim Targets 1.

Pulling numbers from each of the above sources, I created the following table:

standards compare


1) China lacks an 8-hour standard for Ozone as well as any standards for PM2.5, though monitoring and reporting of these is supposedly going to begin this year.

2) Although the US EPA’s PM10 standards do not appear very stringent, this is because the US EPA has prioritized limiting PM2.5 concentrations (which cause greater health impact) instead.

3) China’s air quality standards are not as stringent even as the WHO’s suggested Interim Targets 1.

These targets are proposed [by the WHO] as incremental steps in a progressive reduction of air pollution and are intended for use in areas where pollution is high. These targets aim to promote a shift from high air pollutant concentrations, which have acute and serious health consequences, to lower air pollutant concentrations. If these targets were to be achieved, one could expect significant reductions in risks for acute and chronic health effects from air pollution. Progress towards the guideline values should, however, be the ultimate objective of air quality management and health risk reduction in all areas.

I have heard a rumor that China will revise its air quality standards this year; if and when they do, I am curious to know how aggressive the new targets will be.

list of chinese energy and environmental standards for vehicles

Thursday, February 19th, 2009


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