Early tests on the fuel, called EC Diesel, resulted in a 15% drop in particulates and a 5% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, both key components in smog, according to officials at Atlantic Richfield Co. The company is planning more extensive tests on the fuel in 200 Southern California automobiles by the end of the summer.
Arco will spend nearly $2 million on developing the new fuel. If the test results prove positive, the fuel could become commercially available in a few years.
The Arco fuel is lower in sulfur and aromatics than current diesel, although the specifics are "classified information," said an Arco Products spokesman.