ULSD: What You Need to Know About Static Electricity Risk During Refueling

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations require a major reduction in the sulfur content of diesel fuels and emission levels from diesel engines and vehicles. To meet the EPA regulations, the petroleum industry is producing Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) fuel, a cleaner-burning diesel fuel. One result of the removal of sulfur and other compounds from diesel fuel is a decrease in conductivity and an increase in the fuel’s ability to hold a static charge. In the presence of combustible vapors, static electricity discharge can be extremely dangerous and can result in a fire or an explosion. Additional safety measures should be taken since Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) poses a greater static ignition hazard than earlier diesel formulations with a higher sulfur content.