In the effort to design reliable diesel engines which meet the strict US Federal Regulations for emissions, considerable progress has been made by engine manufacturers. Particulate emissions are now below 0.25 g/BHPh and after 1994 will be below 0.1 g/BHPh. Diesel fuel has a revised specification limit of 0.05% sulfur as a means to assist diesel engine manufacturers in complying with the 1994 standard. Diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) have been chosen as another means. A DOC can efficiently oxidize soluble organic particulate matter (SOF) and gaseous hydrocarbons while easily oxidizing SO2 to SO3-the latter being a particulate and undesirable. Selective DOCs have been developed which maintain the activity for SOF and minimize the undesirable SO2 oxidation step. However, performance for gaseous hydrocarbons may be negatively affected. The potential effectiveness of DOCs and other catalytic aftertreatment devices such as catalytic soot filters and lean NOX catalysts are greatly improved with cleaner diesel fuels-the cleaner the better.