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What is EN 590:2012?

EN590:2012 is a technical standard for automotive diesel fuel in the European Union. It sets specific requirements for the quality and performance of diesel fuel, ensuring that it meets certain standards and specifications for use in vehicles. The standard was first introduced in 1993 and has since been updated to include new requirements and accommodate advancements in technology.

The Specifications of EN590:2012

EN590:2012 specifies various parameters and limits for diesel fuel, including its composition, physical properties, and performance characteristics. Some of the key specifications outlined in the standard are:

Sulfur Content: The maximum allowable sulfur content in EN590 diesel fuel is 10 parts per million (ppm) by mass. This requirement helps reduce emissions of sulfur compounds, which contribute to air pollution and respiratory problems.

Cetane Number: The cetane number indicates the ignition quality of diesel fuel. EN590:2012 requires a minimum cetane number of 51, ensuring good combustion properties and engine performance.

Density: The density of diesel fuel affects its energy content. EN590:2012 specifies a density range between 820 and 845 kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³).

Importance of EN590:2012

The EN590:2012 standard plays a crucial role in promoting the harmonization of diesel fuel quality across the European Union. By establishing common specifications, it enables the free movement of diesel fuel within member states, facilitates trade, and enhances compatibility among different vehicle technologies.

In addition, EN590:2012 contributes to environmental protection by setting strict limits on harmful emissions. Low sulfur content leads to reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO₂), a major contributor to acid rain, and helps preserve air quality. The standard's requirements also ensure that diesel fuel is compatible with advanced engine technologies, promoting efficient combustion and reducing environmental impact.


EN590:2012 is a crucial technical standard for automotive diesel fuel in the European Union. Its specifications and requirements ensure that diesel fuel meets quality and performance standards necessary for optimal vehicle operation. By promoting harmonization and reducing harmful emissions, EN590:2012 plays a significant role in enhancing both the environmental and economic aspects of diesel fuel use in the EU.

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