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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Air Pollution from diesel vehicles

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Automobiles such as cars and other motorised vehicles consume fossil fuels like diesel and petrol. These fuels produce several types of pollutants on combustion inside engines of these vehicles.

Diesel is the most required fossil fuel in the transport industry today. It is widely used in heavy duty engines of trucks, trains, marine transport, DG Sets etc. The popularity of diesel engines has increased up to greater extent both due to its efficiency and long service life as compared to petrol (gasoline) engines.

Emissions due to burning of diesel contain less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide but more oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter. The exhaust due to burning of diesel is a complex mixture of both the particulate and gaseous components. The size of particulate matter contained in the diesel exhaust ranges from 0.05 to 1.00 micrometer. Particulates of such small size easily enter into the respiratory system and get deposited in the air ways and alveoli. These particulates are able to absorb different hydrocarbons including carcinogenic (cancer causing) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and nitro- PAHs that are of serious concern for human health. The components of diesel exhaust undergo atmospheric transformation and become more potent mutagens and carcinogens.

It is evident from latest researches that the cancer potency of diesel vehicles is more than double the same of gasoline vehicles in India. The carcinogenic effects of diesel particulates is 24 times greater than that of Gasoline and 84 times greater than that of the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has restricted the use of commercial diesel driven vehicles in Delhi due to its harmful effects. Starting from 1 April 2001 it has been made mandatory to use only compressed natural GAS in all transport buses in Delhi.
Key Words : diesel, gasoline,PAH,  CNG, Delhi

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