Help Print this page 
Title and reference
Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Fifth annual Report (Reporting year 2006)

/* COM/2008/0799 final */
Multilingual display
Text

52008DC0799

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Fifth annual Report (Reporting year 2006) /* COM/2008/0799 final */


[pic] | COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES |

Brussels, 01.12.2008

COM(2008) 799 final

REPORT FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Quality of petrol and diesel fuel used for road transport in the European Union: Fifth annual report (Reporting year 2006)

1. Executive Summary

Directive 98/70/EC[1] sets minimum specifications on health and environmental grounds for fuels to be used for vehicles equipped with positive-ignition and compression-ignition engines. Fuel quality is environmentally important because it affects engine pollutant emissions and thus air quality. It also affects the ease and cost with which desired pollutant and greenhouse emission limits can be achieved by manufacturers. Directive 2003/17/EC[2], amending Directive 98/70/EC, requires a further reduction of the sulphur content of petrol and diesel fuels.

Non-respect of the fuel specification can lead to increased emissions (for example excess oxygenates can increase NOx emissions) and might damage engine and exhaust after-treatment systems (for example excess sulphur damaging catalysts) leading to higher air pollutant emissions. In order to ensure compliance with the fuel quality standards mandatory under this Directive, Member States are required to introduce fuel quality monitoring systems.

Article 8 of Directive 98/70/EC requires the Commission to publish annually, a report on fuel quality in the Member States. This fifth Commission Report summarises Member States’ submissions on the quality of petrol and diesel, as well as the volumes sold, for the year 2006. All Member States except Malta submitted national reports for 2006.

The monitoring of fuel quality in 2006 shows that the specifications for petrol and diesel laid down in Directive 98/70/EC are in general met and again few exceedances were identified. For petrol the main parameters where exceedances were identified were research/motor octane number (RON/MON)[3], summer vapour pressure[4] and distillation/evaporation at 100/150°C[5] For diesel the main parameters where exceedances were identified were sulphur content, distillation 95% point, cetane number and density.

Although several Member States reported non-compliant samples, in general fewer samples exceeded the limit values (and the limits of tolerance for the test methods) compared to previous years. Several of the new EU10 Member States previously reported significant numbers of samples non-compliant with limit values, but the number of non-compliant samples they reported has reduced significantly in 2006. Belgium reported a higher proportion (~3.5%) of non-compliant samples than other Member States in 2005 (though improved on previous years), however insufficient detail has been provided in 2006 to gauge actual non-compliance numbers.

Sulphur content for diesel was a particular problem in previous years (mainly for EU-10), due to the new mandatory <50 ppm level from the start of 2005. However, this problem appears to have been resolved in 2006.

The Commission is not aware of any negative repercussions on vehicle emissions or engine functioning related to these exceedances, but continues to urge Member States to take action in order to ensure full compliance. Most are doing so already, and details of action taken by Member States with regard to non-compliance are included, where provided, in the individual country chapters of the detailed report for 2006[6]. The Commission will continue monitoring compliance with the fuel quality requirements laid down in the Directive.

For the abatement of air pollution and the introduction of new engine technology it is important to note that the share of <10 ppm and <50 ppm sulphur fuels increased significantly from 2001 to 2006 for EU-15. From 2005, it was mandatory for all fuel to meet the <50 ppm sulphur level, and for fuels of <10 ppm sulphur to be introduced in all Member States. Average sulphur content in 2006 is substantially below that reported in 2004 as shown in table 1.

Table 1: Annual trend in average sulphur content in petrol and diesel fuels for the EU

EU average Sulphur Content, ppm | EU15 | EU10 |

[pic] | [pic] |

Type | % | Type | % |

1 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 | 0.0% | 13 | Diesel | 0.0% |

2 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<50 ppm S) | 0.3% | 14 | Diesel (<50 ppm sulphur) | 68.6% |

3 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<10 ppm S) | 7.0% | 15 | Diesel (<10 ppm sulphur) | 31.4% |

4 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 | 0.0% |

5 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) | 54.0% |

6 | Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) | 29.3% |

7 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 | 0.0% |

8 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) | 3.1% |

9 | Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) | 0.08% |

10 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 | 0.0% |

11 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) | 0.6% |

12 | Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) | 5.6% |

Since 2001 there has been increased homogeneity in the number of grades of fuel reported to be available across the EU (Figure 4). In 2006 there are generally 2-3 petrol grades available, mainly a result of different octane levels (RON category), however separate sulphur-free grades are appearing in some cases (for example Estonia, which has a sulphur-free version of each fuel type). Separate (marked) national sulphur-free (<10 ppm) fuel grades were available in 10 EU15 (only 1 in 2001) and 4 EU10 Member States in 2006 (in others fuel meeting the sulphur limit is available but unmarked at sale), as in 2005.

Figure 2: Fuel Quality Monitoring sampling rate across the EU in 2006 (average number of samples per fuel grade)

Average Number Samples / Fuel Grade | [pic] |

Petrol | Diesel | Petrol | Diesel |

Austria | 2 / 203 | <4 months |

Belgium | >7 / 4722 | >5 / 5276 | 8 / 18 | <7 months |

Cyprus | 7 / 18 | (3) |

Czech Republic | 16 / 871 | 18 / 1064 |

Denmark | 2 / 40 |

Estonia | 11 / 300 | 1 / 100 | <5 months | (4) |

Finland | 1 / 262 | 2 / 158 |

France | 3 / 175 | 1 / 122 | <1 month | (5) |

Germany | 8 / 414 | <7 months |

Greece | 6 / 18 | <8 months | (6) |

Hungary | 6 / 120 |

Ireland | 8 / 115 | <1 month |

Italy | 4 / 283 | 1 / 18 | (7) |

Latvia | 3 / 1382 | 3 / 1150 | <1 month |

Lithuania | 1 / 218 | 1 / 103 | (8) |

Luxembourg | 7 / 18 | <7 months |

Poland | 9 / 492 | 3 / 220 |

Portugal | 7 / 18 | <2 months |

Slovakia | 16 / 237 | 2 / 102 |

Slovenia | 8 / 136 | 5 / 151 | 1 / 18 | <1 month | (9) |

Spain |

Sweden | 6 / 18 | (10) |

UK | <4 months |

No. Countries | 16 | 10 | 8 | 0 | 13 |

Notes:

(1) | It is not possible to confirm whether limit values have been respected in all samples, where reporting data is incomplete. Where it has not been possible to establish from submissions the number of samples exceeding the limit value a ‘>’ symbol indicates that the number of samples exceeding limits is a minimum and might be greater. |

(2) | Directive 98/70/EC states that Member States should submit monitoring reports by no later than 30th June each year. |

(3) | MON and oxygenates (other than ethers with more than 5 carbon atoms per molecule) were not reported. |

(4) | DVPE samples number for Grade 12 not reported. |

(5) | A partially complete report was submitted in July 2007, however complete details were not provided until January 2008. |

(6) | Oxygenates (other than ethers with more than 5 carbon atoms per molecule) have not been reported. In principle, all substances on the list are measured at once using the oxygenate test methods. In this case the system has to be calibrated using a calibration sample, containing the same oxygenates in similar proportions as present in the sample under test. It is not clear in most cases, whether this has been carried out (Portugal have stated no other oxygenates are added). Total organically bound oxygen is calculated from the % by mass of the components after identification. |

(7) | Test method EN 1601 was employed for the determination of oxygenate content in petrol samples. EN 1601 requires the examination of each sample chromatogram to identify possible oxygen containing components, before the actual determination is carried out. The examination of all chromatograms related to FQMS samples showed that only one oxygenate compound was present in each sample (MTBE, ETBE, TAME). No other oxygenate compound was detected beside one of these ethers. Analysis for lead was also not provided for <10ppm petrol fuel. |

(8) | The full details on numbers of non-compliant samples were not provided. |

(9) | No vapour pressure results were provided for RON 98. |

(10) | For RON95 petrol: Oxygen content and 5/7 oxygenates have not been reported (Sweden's note: Ethanol is added at the gantry but also at refineries. Therefore the DVPE is a mix of both with and without ethanol. The addition of Ethanol of up to 5% increases the DVPE with about 7 kPa. The oxygen content is not available in the finished fuel). For RON98 petrol: 6/7 oxygenates (i.e. other than ethers with more than 5 carbon atoms per molecule) have not been reported. |

5. CONCLUSIONS

Fuel quality is environmentally important because it affects engine pollutant emissions and thus air quality as well as the ease and cost with which desired pollutant and greenhouse gas emission limits can be achieved by manufacturers. The monitoring of fuel quality in 2006 shows that the specifications for petrol and diesel laid down in Directive 98/70/EC are in general met and very few exceedances were identified. The Commission is not aware of any negative repercussions on vehicle emissions or engine functioning due to these exceedances. The Commission remains concerned about the exceedances and will continue monitoring compliance with the fuel quality requirements laid down in the Directive. The Commission will continue exploring the use of more detailed statistical analysis of reported data.

The share of <10 and <50 ppm fuels have been increasing from 2001 to 2005. For 2006 the proportions have increased significantly, with the <50 ppm sulphur limit becoming mandatory, and the requirement for introduction of <10 ppm sulphur fuels across the EU. Zero sulphur fuels were available in the majority of Member States in 2006 (UK, Malta and Cyprus still need to introduce these fuels). However, from current indications there are still cases where the grades do not appear to be labelled in certain Member States.

This lack of labelling could hamper the introduction of vehicles using technology requiring sulphur-free fuels before full mandatory introduction in 2009 since without labelling consumers have no possibility to choose these fuels. This is particularly important for owners of vehicles utilising technology that requires sulphur-free fuel and significantly undermines the value of having fuels meeting this criterion available. As a result the full potential offered for reductions in CO2 from the road transport sector would not be realised. Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, Slovakia and Slovenia are countries where action could be taken to ensure zero sulphur fuels are labelled in future years. Reporting on this labelling could help the automotive industry gain confidence in fuel availability so that vehicles taking full advantage of the zero sulphur content are more widely introduced leading to an environmental gain through lower pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. In general very limited information has been provided by Member States on the geographical availability of zero sulphur fuels. Most Member States simply stating they were widely available, but provided no supplementary information to provide a measure of the geographical availability.

The fuel quality monitoring systems established at national level differ considerably and require further harmonisation in order to provide transparent and comparable results. The implementation of Directive 2003/17/EC has led to improved quality of reporting as it requires Member States to report on monitoring in accordance to the new European Standard, EN 14274, or with systems of equivalent confidence. Where Member States do not report according to EN 14274 format, justification for this must be provided.

ANNEX:2006 EU fuel sales by fuel type (million litres)

ID No. |Million litres |Austria |Belgium | Denmark |Finland |France |Germany |Greece |Ireland |Italy |Luxembourg | Netherlands |Portugal |Spain |Sweden |UK | EU15 | EU15 | | |Fuel grade |AU |BE | DK |FI |FR |DE |EL |IE |IT |LU | NL |PT |ES |SE |UK |EU15 | % Total | |1 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |2 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<50 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |3 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<10 ppm S) |694 |- |513 |- |- |8,504 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |9,711 |7.7% | |4 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |5 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) |- |793 |- |- |10,040 |- |4,500 |1,599 |15,025 |494 |5,647 |- |8,196 |- |23,658 |69,951 |55.4% | |6 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) |1,927 |684 |1,920 |2,261 |- |21,232 |- |750 |1,313 |- |- |- |- |4,994 |- |35,082 |27.8% | |7 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |8 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |581 |- |- |- |1 |1,891 |16 |- |1,066 |3,555 |2.8% | |9 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |109 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |109 |0.1% | |10 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |11 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) |- |253 |- |- |- |- |34 |- |- |116 |217 |- |- |- |- |619 |0.5% | |12 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) |76 |253 |13 |221 |3,529 |870 |343 |- |- |- |- |375 |1,173 |354 |- |7,207 |5.7% | | |Petrol (regular) | 0 |0 | 0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 | 0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 | 0.0% | | |Petrol (<50 ppm sulphur) | 0 |1,046 | 0 |0 |10,040 |0 |5,114 |1,599 |15,025 |610 | 5,864 |1,891 |8,212 |0 |24,724 |74,126 | 58.7% | | |Petrol (<10 ppm sulphur) | 2,697 |937 | 2,446 |2,483 |3,638 |30,605 |343 |750 |1,313 |0 | 0 |375 |1,173 |5,348 |0 |52,110 | 41.3% | | |Total Petrol | 2,697 |1,984 | 2,446 |2,483 |13,678 |30,605 |5,458 |2,349 |16,339 |610 | 5,864 |2,266 |9,385 |5,348 |24,724 |126,235 | 100.0% | |13 | Diesel | - |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |14 | Diesel (<50 ppm sulphur) | 1,031 |6,865 |- |- |36,230 |- |2,574 |1,979 |28,739 |2,111 |7,851 |5,377 |29,350 |- |24,286 |146,394 |71.4% | |15 | Diesel (<10 ppm sulphur) | 6,331 |706 |3,071 |2,459 |1,510 |35,616 |42 |920 |1,670 |- |1,493 |316 |0 |4,422 |- |58,557 |28.6% | | | Total Diesel | 7,362 |7,572 | 3,071 |2,459 |37,740 |35,616 |2,616 |2,899 |30,409 |2,111 | 9,345 |5,693 |29,350 |4,422 |24,286 |204,950 | 100.0% | |

ID No. |Million litres |Cyprus |Czech Republic |Estonia |Hungary |Latvia |Lithuania |Malta |Poland |Slovakia |Slovenia | EU10 |EU10 | |European Union | European Union | | |Fuel grade |CY |CZ |EE |HU |LV |LT |MT |PL |SK |SI |EU10 | % Total | |EU | % Total | |1 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |2 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<50 ppm S) |- |258 |- |- |15 |94 |- |- |14 |- |380 |2.7% | |380 |0.3% | |3 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=91 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |36 |- |- |- |- |- |69 |- |105 |0.7% | |9,816 |7.0% | |4 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |5 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<50 ppm S) |388 |2,715 |- |- |404 |386 |- |1,967 |97 |- |5,958 |41.8% | |75,909 |54.0% | |6 |Unleaded petrol min. RON=95 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |381 |1,969 |1 |4 |- |3,188 |602 |- |6,145 |43.1% | |41,227 |29.3% | |7 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |8 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<50 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |785 |785 |5.5% | |4,340 |3.1% | |9 |Unleaded petrol 95=<RON<98 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |109 |0.1% | |10 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |11 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<50 ppm S) |46 |30 |- |- |10 |- |- |- |1 |77 |165 |1.2% | |785 |0.6% | |12 |Unleaded petrol RON>=98 (<10 ppm S) |- |- |48 |175 |34 |10 |- |440 |16 |- |722 |5.1% | |7,928 |5.6% | | |Petrol (regular) | 0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |- |0 |0 |0 |0 |0.0% | |0 | 0.0% | | |Petrol (<50 ppm sulphur) | 434 |3,003 |0 |0 |430 |479 |- |1,967 |113 |862 |7,289 |51.1% | |81,414 | 57.9% | | |Petrol (<10 ppm sulphur) | 0 |0 |464 |2,143 |35 |14 |- |3,627 |687 |0 |6,971 |48.9% | |59,080 | 42.1% | | |Total Petrol | 434 |3,003 |464 |2,143 |464 |493 |- |5,595 |800 |862 |14,259 |100.0% | |140,495 | 100.0% | |13 | Diesel | - |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |- |0 |0.0% | |0 |0.0% | |14 | Diesel (<50 ppm sulphur) | 398 |4,909 |129 |- |792 |913 |- |755 |511 |1,149 |9,556 |42.4% | |155,949 |68.6% | |15 | Diesel (<10 ppm sulphur) | - |- |300 |3,236 |3 |113 |- |9,000 |327 |- |12,979 |57.6% | |71,536 |31.4% | | | Total Diesel | 398 |4,909 |429 |3,236 |795 |1,026 |- |9,755 |838 |1,149 |22,535 |100.0% | |227,485 | 100.0% | |

[1] Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Council Directive 93/12/EEC O.J. L 350, 28.12.1998, p. 58

[2] Directive 2003/17/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 March 2003 amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels O.J. L 76, 22.3.2003, p. 10

[3] Research Octane Number (RON) is a quantitative measure of the maximum compression ratio at which petrol can be used in an engine without some of the mixture self igniting in the engine. Self ignition leads to excess fuel consumption and an increase in Volatile Organic Compound and Carbon Monoxide emissions.

[4] Vapour pressure is a measure of the propensity of the fuel to evaporate. It is regulated in summer because temperatures at that time of year can lead to high emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds, which are a precursor of ground level ozone. Exceedances will result in increased Volatile Organic Compound emissions.

[5] The distillation parameter establishes the proportion of the fuel that evaporates at 100Ú[6]C and 150Ú[7]C. It limits the range of lighter components that can be blended in the petrol. Exceedances could lead to vapour locks and driveability problems.

[8] See http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/pdf/fqm_summary_20el that evaporates at 100˚C and 150˚C. It limits the range of lighter components that can be blended in the petrol. Exceedances could lead to vapour locks and driveability problems.

[9] See http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/pdf/fqm_summary_2006.pdf

[10] EN 14274:2003 - Automotive fuels - Assessment of petrol and diesel quality - Fuel Quality Monitoring System (FQMS).

[11] http://ec.europa.eu/environment/air/transport/fuel_quality_monitoring.htm

[12] EN 14275:2003 - Automotive fuels - Assessment of petrol and diesel fuel quality -Sampling from retail site station pumps and commercial site fuel dispensers.

[13] The term “low sulphur” corresponds to a sulphur content of <50 ppm; the term “sulphur free” or “zero sulphur” to a sulphur content of <10 ppm

Top