Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) has a lower sulfur content than traditional Low Sulfur Diesel (LSD). ULSD has less than 15 parts per million of sulfur while traditional LSD has less than 500 parts per million or "ppm" of sulfur. The lower sulfur content in ULSD reduces the amount of pollutants trucks emit into the earth's atmosphere. In addition, the reduced sulfur levels allow engine truck manufacturers to include additional emissions control equipment in 2007 diesel engines. This emissions equipment further reduces exhaust pollutants. In combination, this new fuel and the new engines can reduce particulate emissions by up to 95%, reducing hydrocarbon and CO emissions by up to 90%, and even allow modest reductions in NOx emissions.
Since 2006, refiners have been producing over-the-road diesel that is at least 80% ULSD, while pipeline and terminals must track the ULSD they buy and maintain its specifications, allowing for no less than 80% ULSD to be at the 15 ppm level. In addition, retailers like TA must track the ULSD they buy and maintain its specifications, with a similar 80% requirement for 15 ppm. All over-the-road products in all levels of the distribution system must be at 100% ULSD by June 2010.
All model year 2007 and later diesel powered vehicles (including, but not limited to, automobiles, light, medium, and heavy duty trucks) are designed to use ULSD fuel only. These vehicles are equipped with sulfur sensitive advanced emission control systems, thus requiring ULSD. Owners of earlier model years may use either ULSD or LSD fuel until the conversion is complete in 2010.
Some 2007 model year medium and heavy duty trucks may be equipped with 2006 engines and emissions systems, thus not requiring the use of ULSD fuel. Please contact the manufacturer of the vehicle to understand which model year engine is in your vehicle.
EPA regulations for non-road diesel fuel engines such as locomotive, marine, farm, or construction equipment will go into effect by 2012.
Orginally, TA offered our customers the opportunity to purchase traditional LSD or the new ULSD at different locations throughout our network. Many locations offered both products, giving each individual driver a fuel choice. However, as our customers became more comfortable with the new ultra-low sulfur fuel (ULSD), we have gradually shifted our fuel offering to meet customer needs. We currently offer LSD is select locations based on either supply realities or customer requirements.
Drivers can reference what products are offered at TA sites at any time by clicking on the tab labeled "Diesel" along the left side of this web page and then navigate to the fuel prices page link for the most current and up-to-date information.