Particulate matter Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Oil Corporation has stated that Supply of ultra-clean BS-VI grade petrol and diesel has begun in cities adjoining the national capital. The rest of the country will follow suit from April 2020. New Delhi is the first city in the country to leapfrog from BS-IV grade petrol and diesel to BS-VI fuels.
Bharat Stage Norms
Bharat Stage norms are standards set by the government to regulate emission of air pollutants from motor vehicles. The norms set the limit for the release of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, particulate matter (PM) and sulphur oxides from vehicles using internal combustion engines. The Bharat stage norms are based on Euro norms.
Difference between BS-IV and BS-VI Norms
- The extent of sulphur is the major difference between the Bharat stage IV and Bharat stage VI norms.
- Bharat stage IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur whereas Bharat Stage-VI grade fuel only has 10 ppm sulphur.
- Bharat Stage VI will bring PM in diesel cars down by 80 per cent when compared to Bharat stage IV.
- Bharat Stage VI will bring down nitrogen oxides from diesel cars by 70 per cent and in petrol cars by 25 per cent.
In 2015 India had decided to leapfrog to BS-VI emission norm compliant petrol and diesel from April 2020, from the BS-IV grade by skipping BS-V norms. While the deadline for the rest of the country stands, the same for Delhi, which is choking on thick toxic smog, was brought forward.
According recent research, worsening air quality in last two decades has emerged as one of major reasons for high numbers of premature deaths in India. The research was conducted by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi in collaboration with environmental NGO Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED).
The study was conducted 11 north Indian cities i.e. seven in Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Meerut, Varanasi and Gorakhpur), three in Bihar (Patna, Muzaffarpur and Gaya) and one in Jharkhand (Ranchi). It calculated annual mortality burden through averages of recorded deaths caused due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Acute Lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI), coronary disease, stroke, and lung cancer in these 11 cities. It also used satellite-based high-resolution PM2.5 database to generate particulate matter statistics for past 17 years.
Key Findings of Research
The annual mortality linked to air pollution was in range of 150-300 persons per 1 lakh population. Kanpur recorded highest number of premature deaths per year (4,173) due to chronic exposure to air pollution, followed by Lucknow (4,127), Agra (2,421), Meerut (2,044), Varanasi (1,581), Allahabad (1,443) and Gorakhpur (914).
COPD was largest cause of deaths (at 29.7%) and lung cancer the lowest (0.6%). The largest share in total burden was attributed to ALRI in Agra and Meerut and to COPD in Allahabad, Gaya, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Varanasi.
The estimates were not instant deaths, but represented premature (earlier than expected lifetime of Indian population) deaths due to chronic exposure from pollution. This premature mortality burden will be reduced by 14 to 28% annually if these cities achieve of Indian air quality standards.
The mean annual ambient fine particulate matter (PM) concentration was 75-120% higher than Indian annual air quality standard in 10 of 11 cities. The residential (cooking, heating and lighting) sources are largest contributors to annual ambient PM2.5 concentration (73.8%). Moreover, analysis of aerosol composition indicates higher percentage of sulphates, organic carbons and black carbon emitted primarily from anthropogenic sources.