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Fuel quality management versus vehicle emission control in China, status quo and future perspectives


  • Yue, Xin
  • Wu, Ye
  • Hao, Jiming
  • Pang, Yuan
  • Ma, Yao
  • Li, Yi
  • Li, Boshi
  • Bao, Xiaofeng


China’s fuel quality standards and fuel supply management have long been an impediment to improved air quality by hindering the progress of vehicle emission control. This paper summarizes the status of China’s fuel quality standards, fuel supply and vehicle emission standards focusing on the major problems of fuel quality management. The mechanism that China uses to establish its fuel quality standards is outlined. The gaming of stakeholders such as regulatory authorities, vehicle and engine manufacturers and the gigantic state-owned oil companies in the development of fuel quality standard formulation and fuel supply is illustrated. Results are presented from testing 59 gasoline samples for sulphur, olefins, aromatics, benzene, and manganese content and from testing 59 diesel samples for sulphur and polyaromatic hydrocarbons collected across the country from 2010 to 2011. This paper also provides key policy suggestions to improve future fuel quality in China. China should improve fuel quality through the application of policy measures such as adjusting the fuel quality standard formulation process, introducing competition and enforcing the transition period for improved fuel introduction, unifying on-road diesel and non-road diesel fuel quality standards, and pay attention to issues like fuel detergent, methanol addition and evaporative emissions.

Suggested Citation

  • Yue, Xin & Wu, Ye & Hao, Jiming & Pang, Yuan & Ma, Yao & Li, Yi & Li, Boshi & Bao, Xiaofeng, 2015. "Fuel quality management versus vehicle emission control in China, status quo and future perspectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 87-98.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:79:y:2015:i:c:p:87-98
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.01.009

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zhang, Shaojun & Wu, Ye & Liu, Huan & Huang, Ruikun & Yang, Liuhanzi & Li, Zhenhua & Fu, Lixin & Hao, Jiming, 2014. "Real-world fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of urban public buses in Beijing," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 1645-1655.
    2. Lars Lundqvist & Kenneth Button & Peter Nijkamp (ed.), 2003. "The Automobile," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2516, April.
    3. Zhang, Shaojun & Wu, Ye & Hu, Jingnan & Huang, Ruikun & Zhou, Yu & Bao, Xiaofeng & Fu, Lixin & Hao, Jiming, 2014. "Can Euro V heavy-duty diesel engines, diesel hybrid and alternative fuel technologies mitigate NOX emissions? New evidence from on-road tests of buses in China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 118-126.
    4. Zhang, Kesong & Hu, Jingnan & Gao, Shuzheng & Liu, Yungang & Huang, Xianjiang & Bao, Xiaofeng, 2010. "Sulfur content of gasoline and diesel fuels in northern China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2934-2940, June.
    5. Liu, Haiyan & Yu, Jianning & Xu, Jian & Fan, Yu & Bao, Xiaojun, 2007. "Identification of key oil refining technologies for China National Petroleum Co. (CNPC)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2635-2647, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Rencheng & Hu, Jingnan & Bao, Xiaofeng & He, Liqiang & Zu, Lei, 2017. "Effects of aromatics, olefins and distillation temperatures (T50 & T90) on particle mass and number emissions from gasoline direct injection (GDI) vehicles," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 185-193.
    2. Timothy Bodisco & Ali Zare, 2019. "Practicalities and Driving Dynamics of a Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Euro 6 Regulation Homologation Test," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-19, June.
    3. Pan, Lingying & Liu, Pei & Li, Zheng, 2018. "A discussion on China's vehicle fuel policy: Based on the development route optimization of refining industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 403-412.


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