Costa Rica has been importing cleaner fuels since January

Fuels that are going to sell in the country from January will be more friendly to the environment and cause less deterioration in motor vehicles. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Minaet) announced yesterday that in 2013 the country will market diesel and gasoline with a smaller amount of sulfur.

That colorless gas is one of the principal air pollutants in cities and causing severe respiratory problems.

According to the announcement of René Castro, Minister of Environment, the country will lower the amount of sulfur in diesel to 50 parts per million to 15 parts per million (ppm).

This allows the country to achieve the same standard of diesel sold in Europe, where the requirements for protecting the environment are more drastic.

In addition, gasoline (and super plus) will increase from 200 ppm sulfur to 80 parts per million, said Castro.

To make these changes in the hydrocarbons become effectiveit is necessary a regulation to be drafted in the next days.

It will include maximum levels of MMT (methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl), a gasoline additive, that excessive damage to vehicles.

According to the Costa Rican Oil Refinery (Recope), import products with less sulfur, guarantees “more oil life, less wear and corrosion of vehicles and less deterioration of the molds.”

The impact of this measure will also be reflected in the environment, it will decrease the amount of suspended particles.

After February 2009, when lowered sulfur Recope 2000 ppm to 500 ppm in diesel, the amount of particles that come out of the cars muffles fell 1,450 tons, said Jorge Herrera, director of the Laboratory for Environmental Analysis National University.