With the United States moving to implement stronger environmental and fuel economy standards and expand the use of renewable fuels, clean diesel fuel is "poised to take on an even greater role in the U.S. transportation market," according to a newly-released Hart Energy Consulting report.

"Diesel: Fueling the Future of a Green Economy" was released this week by the Diesel Technology Forum in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's 2010-2011 Winter Fuels Outlook Conference at the National Press Club.

"The growth in the diesel market has occurred throughout all regions of the world," says The Hart Energy report. "Though not all areas have experienced substantial diesel penetration into the passenger vehicle market, growth in diesel demand has outpaced gasoline and other refined products in nearly all developing countries, including China. Diesel fuel is the workhorse of economies throughout the world."

The paper:

* Reviews the past, present and future importance of diesel fuels to the U.S. and other global economies;

* Highlights the fundamentals of petroleum refining relative to diesel fuel supply and demand along with current and future supply and demand trends;

* Highlights the potential for greater use of diesel fuel in light duty vehicles, and related considerations including fuel taxation and incentive policies and the accessibility to diesel fuel at retail facilities.

* Explains the role of renewable diesel fuels, reviews future investments in diesel refining capacity, and identifies policies impacting diesel fuel refining and vehicle use in the future.

For instance, the report points out that introduction of advanced diesel technology in 2007 that relied on ultra low sulfur clean diesel fuel has reduced emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide by more than 98 percent in heavy-duty truck applications compared to 2000 models.

It also points out that one of the key policy strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on imported oil is to use more domestically produced fuel from a variety of plant and biomass feedstocks. The capability of diesel engines to use a range of renewable fuels and blends further enhances its potential for expanded use.

Access the report online in PDF format here.