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Old 16th July 2008, 14:57   #1
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Default Can highway Fuel filling damage modern diesels?

According to supreme court law, major cities get Euro III diesel, since most cars at E-III.
However village and other areas get E-II diesel which has a higher sulfur content.
My question is that, won't using high sulfur diesel damage the Cat-con and EGR etc., of modern diesel engines?
This is esp true for people who undertake frequent highway trips.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:03   #2
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Hmm I think carrying fuel additives should help but I am not too sure about Diesel additives.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:06   #3
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the problem is not of lubrication etc.,
Euro II diesel has higher sulfur content. So it actually lubricates better.
Infact if you are using E-III diesel in an older engine, its better to use a E-III compliant engine oil which will compensate for loss of lubricity.
The problem in using E-II in a E-III or E-IV compliant vehicle is that the EGR etc., and catcon system get damaged if sulfur content is higher than the prescribed limit.

Till date I am not aware of an additive which can remove sulfur from diesel.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:10   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
According to supreme court law, major cities get Euro III diesel, since most cars at E-III.
However village and other areas get E-II diesel which has a higher sulfur content.
My question is that, won't using high sulfur diesel damage the Cat-con and EGR etc., of modern diesel engines?
This is esp true for people who undertake frequent highway trips.
I dont know about whether the E-II diesel damaging E-III cars. Have been driving diesels around for 8 years now on the highway with modern EII and EIII cars. Not had an issue till date : TOUCHWOOD.

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Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Hmm I think carrying fuel additives should help but I am not too sure about Diesel additives.

The only issue I had was in my 97 carb MARUTI zen E-I or E-II, which is supposed to run on unleaded petrol fuel only.

Made a trip from Chennai - Bangalore - Coorg - Kabini - Mysore - Chennai and broke the catalytic convertor in the exhaust. [March 2000]

The Brilliance was that the cat cost too much for the zen. This made me experiment with free flow and headers and enter the world of excitement.cheers:

BTW, I had carried 100 litres of Petrol from Bangalore from India Garage pump where I fill in regularly for the entire Coorg - Kabini stretch. Hence fuel adulteration was minimal, but nevertheless, the damage was done.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:18   #5
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Quote:
tsk1979 : My question is that, won't using high sulfur diesel damage the Cat-con and EGR etc., of modern diesel engines?
This would definitely be applicable if the cat-cons in the vehicles are either :

1. All E-4 (or E-3) compliant
2. Different, depending on where the vehilce is being sent to. E-3 (or E-4) version compliant for metro's, and one level lower for Non-metro areas.

I dont think 2 is the case.

And I dont think 1 is happening either. I would, at this time, place my bets on either the cat-con is not dependent on the emission standards it is being used for, but it still can do it's work. Or : the cat-con being deployed is actually meant for one emission standard level below the highest level required.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
the problem is not of lubrication etc.,
Euro II diesel has higher sulfur content. So it actually lubricates better.
Infact if you are using E-III diesel in an older engine, its better to use a E-III compliant engine oil which will compensate for loss of lubricity.
The problem in using E-II in a E-III or E-IV compliant vehicle is that the EGR etc., and catcon system get damaged if sulfur content is higher than the prescribed limit.

Till date I am not aware of an additive which can remove sulfur from diesel.

tsk1979,

Ultra low sulfur diesel or ULSD has been implemented to reduce the emission of sulfur into the environment. The sulfur just flows through the engine and out into the exhaust.

As far as I know, normal sulfur fuel will not damage vehicles designed for USLD. My guess is that there should not be a major issue. I do not think that sulfur will harm any of the emission equipment.

But this will probably not be the case for the next generation of diesel engines that use particle traps and urea regeneration, etc.

The problem is that ULSD can harm diesels. You correctly stated that ULSD has less lubricity than regular diesel. However, this problem cannot be compensated with engine oil. Diesel fuel is the primary lubricant for the diesel pump. The lack of lubricity impacts the fuel pump, injectors, etc. This is why some people will put in a little 2 stroke engine oil with each fill up of USLD.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:34   #7
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Condor: The job of Cat-Con is to convert the gases into a form which complies with the emission standards, If its input changes(read gases emitted) which will be due to fuel the out put will also get affected IMHO.
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Old 16th July 2008, 15:38   #8
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We don't get ULSD in India, only LSD(Low Sulfur Diesel).
ADEC-AQ-Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Questions and Answers
According to this webpage, if you use high sulfur diesel in a vehicle designed for ULSD you will damage cat-con and emission controls
for example when we go E-IV, cars with come with particulate traps, Sulfur will block this and backpressure can cause engine damage.
With E-III and E-II tolerances are not much different, so the only thing getting hurt maybe catcon etc.,
But what about E-IV.
In its typical bullheadedness, govt will make E-IV compatible vehicles for cities first.
This means you will fill in LSD or HSD instead of ULSD which will actually damage engine
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Old 16th July 2008, 16:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
the problem is not of lubrication etc.,
Euro II diesel has higher sulfur content. So it actually lubricates better.
Since Sulphur is a lubricant there may not be a problem for the engine or the injectors. However, you raise a moot point on cat con, fuel filter etc..Do they get affected and require more change if one consistently uses a fuel with higher sulphur? I wonder what the tolerance limits are. I think that the Euro-III engine expects that the fuel has <50 ppm sulphur? Surely, diesels sold here will have more than this.
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Old 16th July 2008, 16:16   #10
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@Techno, yes. No doubts on that. Was refering to the effect of the extra sulphur -related compounds in the exhaust, on the active part of the cat-con.

: If there is extra sulphur based compounds in the exhaust (due to higher sulphur levels), will it affect the cat-con element more ?
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Old 16th July 2008, 17:00   #11
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For india the Lubricity of Diesel will not change from Euro II upto EuroIV, i.e. it will remain at 460 microns at 60deg C, max.

The Sulphur content does change.


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Originally Posted by RedMM340 View Post
The problem is that ULSD can harm diesels. You correctly stated that ULSD has less lubricity than regular diesel. However, this problem cannot be compensated with engine oil. Diesel fuel is the primary lubricant for the diesel pump. The lack of lubricity impacts the fuel pump, injectors, etc. This is why some people will put in a little 2 stroke engine oil with each fill up of USLD.
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Old 16th July 2008, 17:01   #12
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Exactly, thats what I want to know, what can additional sulfur do to particulate filter(this catches sulfur) and EGR etc.,?
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Old 16th July 2008, 17:16   #13
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The good news is that its decreasing not increasing.

Total Sulphur ( Max) in Diesel in India

Euro II - 0.05 by % Mass
Euro III - 350 mg/kg
Euro IV - 50 mg/kg


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Exactly, thats what I want to know, what can additional sulfur do to particulate filter(this catches sulfur) and EGR etc.,?
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Old 16th July 2008, 18:04   #14
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dadu you did not understand my query,
Metros have E-III cars designed to run on E-III diesel which is 350mg/kg
On highways you get E-II diesel.
So won't our modern cars have problems in their particulate filters
Suppose E-IV is implemented only in metros and highways stay at E-II because refineries say they can't make enough E-III.
This is a real problem, infact recent shortage of hyd diesel was due to E-III shortage(E-II was readily available outside city)

So now you have a car with emission control system and particulate filters designed to take 50mg/kg
But the diesel you fill is 0.05 by %mass ie 500mg/kg!
10 times the design specifications.
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Old 16th July 2008, 18:25   #15
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Tsk, your query is valid and the answer is yes, it will. However the damage to the EGR and CatCon can happen over an extended exposure to such diesel.

That it can cause damage is beyond question. In fact in many diesel car manual they also mention about this very clearly. In fact with the intro of the EGR in Tata cars even they mentioned this somewhere IIRC.

The reason that people normally do not damage their exhaust check mechanisms so easily is because that extended exposure thing normally does not happen. Say I am driving down from Hyderabad to Delhi. Most of my fills will happen in big cities where the pump looks big and of repute. Now by extension I also probably end up getting the E-III compliant diesel (a lot many cities are now covered by the E-III regulations). Even if I do take fuel in a small town, most probably it will mix with the existing fuel in the tank (which is hopefully E-III compliant) and dilute the sulphur content further for this one off case.
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