Evaluating the Health and Environmental Consequences of Sulphur-Related Diesel Emissions

Keywords: Sulphur content, diesel fuel, fuel quality, crude oil, potential impact assessment


Sulphur content is one of the most important fuel parameters affecting exhaust emissions from vehicles. Sulphur is a direct pollutant that can combine with other atmospheric elements to form compounds that contribute to global warming; hence minimising its quantity in fuels is essential. Standards have been set globally to regulate the sulphur content of diesel fuels. This research undertakes a comparative analysis of the sulphur content in fuel samples, randomly collected from five different fuel station brands. The sulphur content of diesel was analysed with sulphur analyser Hitachi LAB X-5000 following the ASTM D 4294-16 test method which is deemed simple. In the Kumasi Metropolis, the mean sulphur concentration in diesel was considerably elevated (ranging from 60 – 258 parts per million (ppm)) in comparison to the global standard of 50 ppm. From the analysis, the sulphur levels were in the order: Brand A< Brand C < Brand D < Brand E < Brand B. An assessment of the impact of sulphur emissions (from cradle to gate) on health, the ecosystem, and climate change was done using SimaPro software (v9.4.0.2). The results revealed the detrimental effects of the emissions, particularly when using fuels sourced from Brand B. Therefore, it is essential to enforce measures that ensure the imported and consumed diesel in the metropolis aligns with the stipulated regulations. This will mitigate potential health risks and environmental damage that may ensue from escalated sulphur emissions. Random checks on diesel quality at retail outlets are recommended to ensure compliance with set regulations.

Author Biographies

Mrs. Emmanuela Kwao-Boateng, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi – Ghana

A chemical/petrochemical engineering lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Her research interests include waste to energy, food processing, application of Industry 4.0 to Manufacturing, fuel quality analyses, and biochemical engineering applications to refining processes.

Dr. Emmanuel Godwin Ankudey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with specialty in Chemical Engineering, Oil and Gas Technology, and Biochemical and Bioprocess Engineering. His research interests include Bioseparation, Enzyme Technology and Biotransformations, and Process Synthesis.

Prof. Lawrence Darkwah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

An Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi with vast experience in research and operations. He has made significant contributions in the fields of Environmental Engineering, Mineral Processing, Energy, Bioremediation, and Industrial Biotechnology. His expertise in Energy is in technology development and operations for the maximization of resource recovery and sustainability. His work has been cited by other researchers, and he continues to make valuable contributions to these fields of interest.

Dr Kwabena Owusu Danquah , Department of Clinical Pathology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Legon

A Senior Research Fellow at the Clinical Pathology Department of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana. My main research focus is on understanding the interplay of infectious agents (HPV, EBV, HIV, and Schistosome) and cancers; the application of Artificial Intelligence algorithms for cancer diagnosis and cancer drug discovery; and molecular pathology.

Mr. Derrick Boateng Kontoh, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, KNUST-Kumasi, Ghana

A research scientist whose work encompasses bioremediation techniques on hydrocarbons, crude oil contaminants, and PFAS compounds. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the North Carolina A&T State University focusing on cost-effective and sustainable remediation techniques for GenX compounds. With a global perspective, he aspires to revolutionize remediation practices, leveraging a multidisciplinary approach to tackle pressing environmental challenges

How to Cite
Kwao-Boateng, E., Ankudey, E. G., Darkwah, L., Owusu Danquah , K., & Boateng Kontoh, D. (2024). Evaluating the Health and Environmental Consequences of Sulphur-Related Diesel Emissions . Journal of Science and Technology, 1(1), 1 - 14. https://doi.org/10.4314/just.v1i1.1749