Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

Determination of an aromatic content threshold in diesel fuels concerning the soot/particulate and gaseous pollutant emissions


The improvement of air quality in cities and urban areas of europe is one of the major goals of the European politics. In the tripartite European Programme on Emissions, Fuels and Engil1e Technologies (EPEFE) the major outcome was that with fuel compositions as well as with combustion engine technologies the emissions can be reduced significantly. Aromatic content in the diesel fuel of 18 % to 31 % of the EPEFE has no influence on particulate but the Swedish class 1 diesel fuel with an aromatic content below 5 % demonstrated a significant reduction of 30 % for particulate and a tendency to decrease NOx emissions. A significant influence of the aromatic content in ranges of 0 - 12 % total aromatic on the reduction of soot formation was observed in flame studies in the recently completed JOULE ll project (Contract No. Jou2-CT93-0379).

The objectives will be to determine an "aromatic threshold" for aromatic contents between 0 % and 12 % in diesel fuels concerning soot/particulate and gaseous pollutant emissions. This programme will take account of EPEFE and aim to improve understanding on the points where the EPEFE-programme was unable to reach definite conclusions. The outcome therefore will be:
- reliable evidence on whether low total aromatic content and/or high oxygen content is a useful approach to control particulate and NOx formation
- acquiring experience in blending fuels with low total aromatic content and high oxygen content respectively and obtaining information about the production cost and which refinery technology is most suitable.
- useful input in the ongoing European discussions on diesel fuel specifications and legislation respectively

The technical program will be of two years duration. It is designed to provide a co-ordinated progression from basic laboratory experimental studies through to trials in commercial production diesel engines, linked by modelling, and directed to providing a greatly-improved understanding of the influence of fuel formulation on PAH and soot formation in diesel engines as well as NOx-emissions. The scope is restricted to the investigation of the influence of low total aromatic content and oxygen content in diesel fuels keeping all other fuel parameters constant.

The contribution of the mineral oil industries ensures that the tested fuel composition can be realized in refinery processes. The programme brings together industrial organisations representing the leading technologies in fuels and engines, with industrial and basic research institutes in the field of fuels and diesel engines.

Call for proposal

Data not available


Neuenhofstrasse 181

See on map

EU contribution
No data

Participants (1)