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1. Automotive Fuel Research Programs

(1) Research on Automobiles/Fuels to Date

The results of JCAP and JATOP are reflected in the policies and measures as follows:

1) Verification of the benefits of cleaner emissions and improved fuel economy due to the introduction of lower sulfur content of gasoline/diesel fuels (JCAP)

⇒ The introduction of sulfur-free gasoline/diesel fuels (surfur content 10ppm or less) into the domestic market was conducted in January 2005 for the first time in the world, due to the voluntary efforts of petroleum industry.The sulfur-free gasoline/diesel fuels, which were standardized in 2008, resulted in the increase of vehicles meeting the world's highest level emission regulation.

2) Research on the use of biomass fuels (JCAP and JATOP)

・Impact evaluation of 8% ETBE blended gasoline
⇒ Evaluation results were used by the domestic petroleum industry as the database for introducing ETBE blended gasoline (i.e. biogasoline). In fiscal 2010, 210,000 KL/year of crude oil equivalent of biomass was consumed as blending stock for gasoline.

・Research for identifying technological subject for the use of biofuels at higher concentrations, as well as for solidifying technological expertise on measures to address these subject from the viewpoint of both automobiles and fuels
⇒ Research results were used as the basic data for introducing the PetroOXY, an oxidation stability test method, as well as for standardizing FAME-blended diesel fuels under the Act on the Quality Control of Gasoline and Other Fuels. (FAME= Fatty Acid Methyl Ester)
⇒ The basic data were also used for standardization of E10 gasoline pursuant to the Act on the Quality Control of Gasoline and Other Fuels and the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS).

3) Research on the future diesel fuels (JATOP)

⇒ In view of the future use of the fuels derived from unconventional petroleum sources and light cycle oils, research was conducted to clarify possible effects of such fuels on the performance of diesel vehicles and the associated problems. Research results were used for providing technological expertise necessary for introducing these fuels to the market.

4) Air quality improvement research with the high-precision air quality simulations (JCAP and JATOP)

Future air quality assessment is conducted for estimating the effects of automobile emission regulations on air quality improvement. This research also aims at providing fair and neutral technological data useful for environmental policies.

・In JCAP Ⅰ, urban and roadside air quality simulation models and an automotive emissions inventory model were developed and predicting air quality in 2010 has been estimated.

・In JCAP Ⅱ, the simulation accuracy has been improved with the reproducing real-world emissions, and air quality in 2015 has been forecasted.

・The research conducted focused on the improvement of the accuracy in estimating roadside NO2 and urban PM2.5 concentration, and air quality in 2020 has been predicted.

Air quality improvement as a result of the stringent of the emission control has been quantitatively assessed through the above-mentioned simulations, and the findings were reported to the Expert Committee on Motor Vehicle Exhaust Emission of the Central Environment Council, the Ministry of Environment.

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