American Gasoline Too Dirty For New Mercedes Engines - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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American Gasoline Too Dirty For New Mercedes Engines

Mercedes has a new, technologically-advanced series of gasoline engines, capable of running on a "lean-burn" mode that both reduces emissions and increases fuel efficiency—but they're not coming to America because the gasoline here isn't clean enough for the Silver Arrow's refined tastes.

The problem is that American gasoline contains too much sulfur—as much as 80-95 parts per million across the country. Mercedes needs a sulfur content of less than 50ppm to function correctly, due to the leaner fuel-to-air ratios that allow them to run more efficiently than conventional gasoline engines. The extra quantities of sulfur would overwhelm the trap that captures oxides of nitrogen from the exhaust stream. With the lean-burn combustion cycle, fuel efficiency increases 10%.

Mercedes has fared better with their low-sulfur diesel engines, as U.S. regulations have limited sulfur content in diesel to 15ppm. But in Europe, gasoline sulfur content has been regulated to "almost zero," according to Mercedes engineers. The EPA is currently evaluating the impact of lower-sulfur gasoline. Sulfur by itself does not actively impact fuel economy.

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