Amoco, Exxon to test cleaner gasoline in Baltimore

November 02, 1990|By Timothy J. Mullaney

Amoco Oil Co. and Exxon Corp. said yesterday that they would introduce new, cleaner formulas of gasoline in test markets that include Baltimore.

The moves come as oil companies gear up to meet new Clean Air Act standards that are to take effect in 1992. Shell Oil Co. has already introduced a cleaner variety of its highest-octane premium gasoline, and Exxon is adding cleaner versions of both its Plus and Extra grades. Amoco now has new formulas for all three of its gasoline grades.

"Our customers indicated they would like lower pollution characteristics in the gasoline they use," said Chuck Hale, fuels product coordinator for Exxon in Houston.

Exxon is introducing its new fuels in metropolitan Washington, Virginia, Philadelphia and Boston, as well as in Baltimore.

Amoco's new fuels will be sold in Washington, Richmond, Va., and Baltimore. The company said it already has begun supplying the new fuels to Amoco stations in Washington.

The fuels are designed to be less volatile, meaning that less evaporates before it is burned. That reduces hydrocarbon emissions, said Amoco spokesman Ralph Stow.

Amoco also said it will introduce improved vapor-recovery nozzles on gasoline pumps at stations in Washington and unveil oil-recycling programs at stations in Baltimore, Washington, Richmond and Roanoke, Va.

Vapor-recovery nozzles are valuable because they prevent gasoline fumes from escaping into the air, Mr. Stow said, but station owners have derided them as expensive, difficult for consumers to use and prone to expensive breakdowns.

Mr. Stow said the new nozzles, though not less expensive than the old version, are more reliable. He said the new nozzles have done well in tests in the St. Louis area.

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