What is cleaner fuel?

Good quality air is essential for people around the world to live healthy and prosperous lives. Cleaner air improves visibility, health and the environment we live in, helping to keep wildlife and vegetation healthy. Air pollution is currently a big global issue, affecting millions of lives around the world, from major cities to remote villages.

Transitioning to cleaner fuel is no simple fix. It takes major investment – in storage facility upgrades, refinery conversions, and more. At Puma Energy we’re making these investments, working with governments to bring their infrastructure up to spec. Cleaner fuel standards worldwide won’t happen overnight, but we will get there.

Antonio Mawad Global head of Midstream Operations and HSE, Puma Energy

What is cleaner fuel?

Quality is determined by the levels of certain substances found in fuel. This includes impurities, such as lead or sulphur, which reduce quality, and fuel additives, which improve quality. High levels of impurities in fuel can also interfere with emissions control devices, such as catalytic converters and NOx traps. 

High-quality fuel with a predictable formulation is needed for engines to run efficiently and for emissions control technology to perform correctly. With cleaner fuel, engines emit fewer harmful emissions – especially fine particulate matter – and air pollution is reduced.

One way we can improve air quality is to reduce harmful emissions from various key sources including industry, households, shipping, aviation and vehicles. At Puma Energy, we’re championing cleaner fuel as part of the air quality solution. We want countries to be able to develop sustainably and benefit from a reliable fuel supply – and we’re committed to doing it in the cleanest and safest way possible. 


How is it measured?

The WHO Air Quality Guidelines offer global advice on thresholds and limits for key air pollutants that pose environmental risks. The guidelines are based on levels of particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the air. 

Fine particulate pollution – particles that are less than 10 micrometres in size, including SOx – produced mainly from fuel combustion, are the biggest concern and have the greatest impact on our health. 

At Puma Energy, we supply the cleanest fuel that it’s practically possible to supply. We’re constantly working to improve the quality of our fuel and to invest in countries where infrastructure needs to be upgraded to accept higher quality fuel.

WHO Ambient Air Quality Standards

Fine particulate pollution, which is linked to high sulphur levels in fuel, can have a negative impact on health even at very low concentrations. In its Guidelines, WHO sets out an annual mean limit of 10 μg/m for particulate matter with a diameter under 2.5 micrometres.

WHO Ambient Air Quality Standards


Why do fuel quality standards vary around the world?

Countries around the world have different fuel quality standards for multiple reasons. Fuel quality standards have historically tended to be higher in Europe, the US, and other established markets where air quality has been on the agenda for some time. In developing markets, fuel quality standards tend to be lower. This is because governments in those markets must balance economic growth with investing in cleaner fuel infrastructure, among other concerns. We are starting to see this change, as more regions and governments see the economic and social benefits of addressing the air quality issue.


Differing legal requirements and infrastructure standards

Legislation and standards around fuel quality vary from country-to-country, often due to a lack of infrastructure and technology suitable for higher quality fuel, or indeed a lack of demand for this kind of fuel. At Puma Energy, we actively support governments in middle-to-low income countries with the transition towards cleaner fuel, by investing in supply chain infrastructure and offering advice and encouragement.


To be able to supply a market with high-quality fuel, consistently, we need high-quality infrastructure right along the supply chain. In Africa, for example, we invested more than US$700 million for a total storage capacity of 1,545 k m3 between 2012 and 2017. This helps us keep our prices competitive in the African market.





Europe has been making a concerted effort since the 1970s to improve air quality by controlling emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere and improving fuel quality. Similarly, in the US, programmes developed as part of the 1970 Clean Air Act have lowered levels of particulate pollution, ozone, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide in the air. Continents such as Africa are now looking to continue in this vein, adopting a combined approach of introducing low-sulphur fuels and cleaner vehicle standards.



Puma Energy’s commitment

We provide the highest quality fuel possible to every market we serve, investing in the testing and infrastructure needed to deliver cleaner fuel over the long term.

Cleaner fuel is not only better for air quality, it’s better for drivers, too – keeping engines running more efficiently, for longer. But in some countries, issues with infrastructure mean we can’t deliver as high-quality fuel as we’d like. That’s why we actively encourage, advise and invest in these countries to help them raise their fuel standards. 

Championing cleaner fuel for a better quality of life. That’s our commitment.


At Puma Energy, we’re taking action and actively encourage and support governments to do the same.

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