Global campaigns towards environmental protection are challenging motorist to embrace cleaner fuels such as diesel 50. Zimbabwe is no exception as the number of vehicles and equipment requiring low sulphur diesel continues to increase in the country.Using regular diesel in vehicles or equipment designed to use diesel 50 can result in diesel particulate filter damage, early fuel filter blockages, damage to fuel pump and injectors,. All these problems lead to vehicle driveability problems and are expensive to rectify.
The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) sampled the quality of diesel 50 on the market and found it compliant to Standards Association of Zimbabwe’s ZWS 751(diesel quality standard).
ZERA will continue to monitor the quality of diesel 50 as part of its fuel quality monitoring programme.
1. What is diesel 50?
Diesel 50 is a low sulphur diesel that contains 50ppm sulphur which is much lower than the regular diesel used in Zimbabwe that contains 500ppm of sulphur.
Reduction of sulphur in fuels is done at refineries by a process called hydro-treating resulting in cleaner fuels with low sulphur content. Low sulphur diesel contributes to reduced emissions of particulate matter into the atmosphere through the exhaust pipe.
2. Where can I buy diesel 50?
Motorists will now be able to buy this eco-friendly fuel which has other benefits from selected retail sites which include:
- Redan Amby – Msasa, Harare
- Redan Airport Road – Hatfield, Harare
- Redan Meyrick Park - Meyrick Park, Harare
- Redan Workington – Workington Industrial Sites
- Sakunda Turnpike – Bulawayo Road, Lake Chivero turnoff
- Redan Fort Street – Bulawayo CBD
- Redan Beitbridge Road – Beitbridge
- Zuva 4th Street – Harare CBD
- Zuva Groombridge – Groombridge, Harare
- Zuva Helensvale – Helensvale, Harare
- Zuva Grange – Grange, Harare
- Zuva Pendennis – Mt Pleasant, Harare
- Zuva Pomona – Sam Levi Village, Borrowdale, Harare.
- Zuva Coventry – Workington, Harare
- Zuva Lorraine – Bluffhill, Harare
- Zuva Matlock – Southerton, Harare
- Zuva Marimba – Belvedere, Harare
- Zuva Matthews – Harare CBD
- Zuva Greencroft – Greencroft, Harare
- Zuva Enterprise – Newlands, Harare
4. What are the benefits of diesel 50?
- Decrease in formation of acidic compounds
When diesel is burnt in the engine, sulphur is converted into sulphur dioxide which reacts with water to form sulphurous and sulphuric acids. These acidic compounds cause corrosion of engine parts, contamination of lubricating oil and also damage the catalytic converter. With diesel 50, formation of these acidic compounds is greatly reduced.
- Decrease in particulate matter or black smoke
When diesel is burnt in the engine , sulphur is converted into sulphates which form particulate matter (PM) emissions. Sulphur particulates can be dangerous because they can cause cancer lung diseases and cardiopulmonary diseases when inhaled. With diesel 50, PM emissions are reduced.
- Increase in cetane number
50 ppm sulphur diesel has a higher cetane number than the regular diesel. High cetane number improves the combustion quality of diesel fuel which leads to practically no unburnt fuel and reduction in black smoke emission.
- Compatible with emission control devices
The low sulphur levels of diesel 50 enables it to be compatible with emission control devices such as catalytic converters and diesel particulate traps which are designed to operate at this low sulphur level. The life span of catalytic converters is increased and emissions are effectively reduced.
- Increase engine life span
The reduced sulphur in diesel 50 leads to a reduction in acidic compounds that damage engine parts and this leads to an increase in engine life span.
- Reduced maintenance costs
Diesel 50 results in insignificant contamination of engine oil which means that service intervals can be increased thereby reducing maintenance costs.
- Reduces injector deposits and nozzle fouling
Because diesel 50 has better combustion quality, soot formation is reduced, which in turn leads to reduced injector deposits and nozzle fouling. Reduced injector deposits and nozzle fouling also leads to excellent fuel atomisation which improves fuel combustion.
- Potential for improved fuel consumption and performance
Because diesel 50 has better combustion quality, there is great potential for improved fuel consumption and engine performance.
Diesel 50- Frequently Asked Questions
- Where else is diesel 50 used in the world?
Diesel 50 is used world-wide in most developed countries including our neighbouring countries South Africa and Botswana. Most European countries have already moved to using diesel with 10ppm sulphur as they increase their drive to reduce harmful exhaust emissions by using cleaner fuels.
- Is diesel 50 safe to use in my car?
Yes, diesel 50 can be safely used in any vehicle or equipment designed to operate on diesel.
- How will motorists identify diesel 50?
Diesel 50 will be clearly labelled on all pumps at retail sites.
- Can I mix diesel 50 with the regular diesel?
Yes, diesel 50 can be safely mixed with the regular diesel without any problems.
- How does the fuel consumption of diesel 50 compare with that of regular diesel?
Diesel 50 has much better combustion quality than regular diesel because of its high cetane number. Diesel 50 therefore burns much more efficiently resulting in great potential for improved fuel consumption and engine performance to be realised.
- What is the cost of diesel 50 compared to the regular diesel?
Diesel 50 is marginally more expensive than the regular diesel. Average prices on the Zimbabwean market show that diesel 50 is only 1.5% more expensive than the regular diesel.