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ASTM revises D975 specification for diesel fuel oils; new designation for sulfur content

3 March 2014

ASTM has published a revision to the D975 specification for diesel fuel oils; the new D975-14 covers seven grades of diesel fuel oils suitable for various types of diesel engines. The new specification adopts an “Sxxx” designation to distinguish grades by sulfur content rather than using qualitative descriptors such as “Low Sulfur” as previously because the number of sulfur grades is growing and the word descriptions were thought to be not precise.

The fuel grades are:

  • Grade No. 1-D S15: A special-purpose, light middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 15 ppm sulfur (maximum) and higher volatility than that provided by Grade No. 2-D S15 fuel.

  • Grade No. 1-D S500: A special-purpose, light middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 500 ppm sulfur (maximum) and higher volatility than that provided by Grade No. 2-D S500 fuel.

  • Grade No. 1-D S5000: A special-purpose, light middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 5000 ppm sulfur (maximum) and higher volatility than that provided by Grade No. 2-D S5000 fuels.

  • Grade No. 2-D S15: A general purpose, middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 15 ppm sulfur (maximum). It is especially suitable for use in applications with conditions of varying speed and load. S15 grades were not in the previous grade system and are commonly referred to as “Ultra-Low Sulfur” grades or ULSD.

  • Grade No. 2-D S500: A general-purpose, middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 500 ppm sulfur (maximum). It is especially suitable for use in applications with conditions of varying speed and load. S500 grades correspond to the previous “Low Sulfur” grades.

  • Grade No. 2-D S5000: A general-purpose, middle distillate fuel for use in diesel engine applications requiring a fuel with 5000 ppm sulfur (maximum), especially in conditions of varying speed and load. S5000 grades correspond to the so-called “regular” sulfur grades, the previous No. 1-D and No. 2-D.

  • Grade No. 4-D: A heavy distillate fuel, or a blend of distillate and residual oil, for use in low- and medium-speed diesel engines in applications involving predominantly constant speed and load.

The requirements specified for diesel fuel oils are determined in accordance with the following test methods: flash point; cloud point; water and sediment; carbon residue; ash; distillation; viscosity; sulfur; copper corrosion; cetane number; cetane index; aromaticity; lubricity; and conductivity.

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