Pollution Current Affairs

Delhi becomes first city to roll-out BS-VI fuel

Delhi became the first city in India to supply ultra-clean Bharat Stage (BS) VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel) with an aim to combat the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR region. State-owned oil firms have started supplying the BS-VI fuel (equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norm) at all their 391 petrol pumps in NCT.

Key Facts

Other cities in NCR like Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad as well as other 13 major cities, including  Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will roll-out cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 1 2019. However, BS-VI fuel will be rolled out in rest of the country by April 2020. By switching to BS-VI, India will join league of US, Japan and European Union, which follow Euro Stage VI emission norms.

Background

The Union Government in October 2016 had decided to skip one stage and migrate to BS-VI directly from BS-IV from April 2020 to fight the growing pollution. The deadline for it in Delhi was brought forward to 2018 due to higher level of pollution i.e. thick toxic smog faced in winter season. It was part of concerted efforts of Government to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce carbon footprints and keep environment healthy.

Benefits of BS-IV fuel

The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and new BS-VI auto fuel norms is presence of sulphur. BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur. Thus, newly introduced BS VI fuel is estimated to reduce amount of sulphur released by 80%. It will also bring down the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars by nearly 70 % and 25% from cars with petrol engines. It will also bring down cancer causing particulate matter emissions from diesel engine cars by phenomenal 80%.

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BHEL bags order from NTPC for flue gas desulphurisation system

The state owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has bagged major order worth Rs. 560 crore from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for setting up flue gas desulphurisation (FGD) system at National Capital Power Station (capacity 2×490 MW) at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh.

Key Facts

The order involves installation of an indigenously developed FGD system in NTPC power station. The system is aimed at controlling various harmful emissions, as per stringent emission norms declared by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

It will be the 13th order for desulphurization unit being executed by BHEL as part of Make in India programme and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions scheme to reduce carbon footprint.

Flu-Gas Desulfurization (FGD)

FGD is a set of technologies used to remove sulphur-dioxide (SO2) from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants, as well as from the emissions of other SOx emitting processes. Common methods used in it are wet scrubbing method, Wet and Dry lime scrubbing method, Spray-dry scrubbing method, SNOX method, Dry sorbent injection method, etc.

For a typical coal-fired power station, FGD system may remove 90% or more of the SO2 in the flue gases. SO2 emissions are a primary contributor to acid rain and have been regulated by every industrialized nation in the world.

Flue Gases

Flue Gases is mixture of gases produced by combustion of fuel and other materials in power stations and various industrial plants and released via flu (ducts) in atmosphere. It largely contains oxides of nitrogen derived from combustion of air, sulphur oxides, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water vapour, excess oxygen, particulate matter like soot.

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