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Fuel Regulations

Argentina: Diesel Fuel

Specifications for commercial fuels in Argentina have been established by Resolution 1.283/2006 published on September 6, 2006 [3402]. The regulation also includes specifications for biodiesel and its blends. Changes to the biodiesel specification were made in Resolution 6/2010 [3406] and the diesel fuel specification in Resolution 5/2016 [3405].

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Argentina has three grades of diesel fuel, as follows:

  • Grade 1, also known as AGRODIESEL or GASOIL AGRO, is intended mainly for agricultural equipment. Sale of Grade 1 diesel is optional at retail outlets.
  • Grade 2, also known as GASOIL COMUN (common diesel fuel), is intended for the bulk of diesel fueled vehicles. Grade 2 diesel fuel is available with 2 different sulfur levels depending on the population density of the location where it is retailed.
  • Grade 3 diesel fuel, also known as GASOIL ULTRA, is the highest quality diesel fuel, made available starting February 1, 2006. Sale of Grade 3 diesel at retail outlets was optional until 2008.

At the time Resolution 1.283/2006 was published, the sulfur limits amounted to 3000 ppm for Grade 1, 1500/2500 ppm (depending on the area) for Grade 2, and 500 ppm for Grade 3. Sulfur limit reductions were scheduled to occur in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2016. After the last reduction, in June 2016, the sulfur limits would become 1000 ppm, 30 ppm, and 10 ppm for the three respective grades. Resolution 5/2016 modified the sulfur reduction schedule for Grade 2 and 3, set a sulfur limit on fuel oil of 7000 mg/kg effective June 1, 2016 and made other changes to Grade 2 and 3 specifications [3405].

Law 26.093 required at least 5% biodiesel to be blended with diesel fuel starting January 1, 2010 [3402]. The Law was promulgated in May 2006 to be valid for 15 years and was therefore scheduled to expire May 2021. Under this Law, blending mandates for biodiesel were raised from 5% in 2010 to 10% in 2014 [5379]. In 2016, Law 26.093 was amended to raise the minimum allowable mandate from 5% to 10% [3403]. However, after 2016, the actual blend level of biodiesel dropped from a high of 10% in 2017 to as low as 4% in 2021 [5380]. In 2021, the expiry date of Law 26.093 was extended several times prior to the publication of a new Biofuels Regulatory Framework—the latter being published in August 2021 as Law 26.640 [5378]. Law 26.640 is in effect until the end of 2030, has the option to be extended once for up to 5 years and provides the flexibility to lower biofuel blend rates to as low as 3% biodiesel in diesel and 9% bioethanol in gasoline.

Detailed diesel fuel quality requirements according to Resolution 1.283/2006 are listed in Table 1 and Resolution 5/2016 in Table 2. Table 3 lists specifications for biodiesel and its blends according to Resolution 1.283/2006 and Table 4 according to Resolution 6/2010 [3406].

Table 1
2006 Specifications for commercial diesel fuels
PropertyUnitsTest MethodGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3
Density @15°Cg/mlASTM D12980.80-0.87
Water, maxg/100 gIRAM 213200.03
Flash point, min°CIRAM-IAP 6539 or ASTM D9345
Kinematic viscosity @40°CcStIRAM-IAP 6597 or ASTM D4452-4.5
Cetane index, minASTM D976441451471
Starting June 1, 2009
T10, max°CASTM D86-235
T50, max-300
T90, max370360
Sulfur, maxmg/kgASTM D4294 or ASTM D5453300015002
Starting June 1, 2008
Starting June 1, 2009
Starting June 1, 2011
Starting June 1, 2016
1 - If cetane number is used, a value of cetane number that is 3 numbers higher than the index value specified is considered equivalent.
2 - Areas of high population density (city of Buenos Aires, a number of municipalities in the province of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza and Rosario); after June 1, 2008 all locations with ≥ 50,000 inhabitants.
3 - Rest of the country and suburban areas of cities considered high population density areas; after June 1, 2008 all locations with < 50,000 inhabitants.
4 - Grade 1 fuel may be substituted for Grade 2 fuel in regions of low population density until May 31, 2009.
5 - Limits to be reviewed in the event that the EEC modifies EURO norms for fuels.
6 - Only ASTM D5453 is applicable for the sulfur measurement.