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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Automobiles and pollution

Automobiles and pollution
A significant portion of the growth in the use of automobiles is seen especially in developing countries like China, Brazil, Russia , India, representing a desire of people in these countries to experience the freedom that comes with owning a vehicle and improve their quality of life. Also, given the large population, the demand for efficient, economical public transport is also in the increase. Therefore, the challenge of modern mobility is to meet these aspirations, satisfy the need for mobility and yet do it in a manner ,in harmony with nature, that has minimum impact on the environment and does not accelerate climate change.

The increasing price of fuel, depletion of fossil fuel resources, decline in availability of raw materials like iron ore and coal, recent reports on climate change in some cities are all true and present unique set of challenges for the growth and development of the automobile industry.

There is a need for the regulation in the transport sector to minimize the impact of vehicular emissions on the air quality.A number of court judgements in some places limited the age of commercial vehicles in the road and recommended a number of measures to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles. Those policies also set out a definite road map for fuel quality and emission levels which have only partially been implemented.

Technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emission , as well as local pollution for engines include currently off-the-shelf technologies, such as variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, smaller engine with supercharger, throttles engines , and diesel vehicles.

In many developing nations vehicles used were manufactured and developed at a time when there were no emission legislation. To solve such issue ,vehicles produced before a certain date should not be allowed on the road after a certain other date.Also mandatory inspection should be introduced with view of maintenance of vehicle ,that which fail the test and cannot be rectified should not be allowed on the road.

A study has shown that vehicles over eight year old account for nearly eighty per cent of the pollution. To help take decisions regarding emission norms, air quality monitoring source apportionment studies has been done in many countries in Europe and Japan. But many times, lack of data and perceptions about the contribution of various sources to air pollution does not result in appropriate decisions.


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