Alternative Fuel to Check Air Pollution
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TOPIC: General Studies 2
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Every year, all major cites face air pollution, smog and heavy air due to which breathing problem occurs. The growth of diesel and petrol of cars should be slowed down. Though India is moving towards exploring alternative fuels to replace petrol and diesel, more collective efforts are required throughout the world to save the planet.
Coping with air pollution
Air pollution has impacted health to a great extent.
Cost to economy is high and number of man-days, efficiency of average Indian has diminished.
In addition, production of GHGs and other toxic gases has led to decrease in lifespan of the average person. Thus, there is no doubt entire planet is reeling on grave issue.
The most concerning pollutant is Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) which is basically dust. Though dust is generally non-harmful, there are very small micro dust particles less than 10 microns and 2.5 microns which deposit in lungs and cause a great respiratory diseases like asthma.
CO and CO2 are also causing equal harm. CO mixes with Hb and forms carboxyhemoglobin which is poison and more than 8 hours exposure of CO can even cause death.
India has declared that by 2030 there should be only electric cars
Three air pollution sources
- point sources- industry where it caused through chimney
- line sources- vehicles moving along the roads
- area sources- use of cow dung, chulha
NCR and surrounding region have constant air pollution problem, especially due to line sources as NCR region has pollution industry removed by law.. Government has installed number of pollution monitoring stations and index systems. But they only inform the level of pollution and not reduce the pollution. The odd-even scheme has not given desired results due to many exemptions and exceptions.
Industrial pollutants are not that damaging as they release pollution through chimneys which are high and in upper height they throw pollutants which mixes with higher level. Except winter or foggy weather, they don’t settle down in ground.
Alternative available to
India is going through economic transformation where income levels are increasing and India has got highest growth rate among developing nations. Number of cars are growing geometrically. In 2016-17, 3.17 million cars were sold and 3.59 million two wheelers were sold across the country. This shows the amount of pollution generated in environment. But examples should be taken from countries like Singapore which have strict vehicle and pollution norms. There are various hydrogen cars are at earlier stage of research but commercialising have started taking place in japan. Sweden as cent percent electrical vehicles with renewable sources produced electricity- hydropower, biomas, biomass gasification, solar and wind.
Electric cars are not affordable right now but India aims to sell only electric vehicles by 2030. When the technology is more advanced, the electric vehicles will be cheaper and the operating costs will also reduce, which will be an economic incentive for the public to buy the same. Charged by electricity as fuel, battery doesn’t emit emission. Batteries are in build with high capacity.
Fossil fuels are limited in nature as now hardly 30-40 years of stock of fossil fuels is remaining.
Hence, switching over entirely into renewable sources for protection of humanity is the only option. The regular ownership policy is emerging throughout the world- US, Japan, Germany are trying to create new means of clean fuels and the people are also eyeing for adopting clean and greener fuel.
Alternative fuels are biofuels- biopetrol or ethanol, biodesel from jatropha, tree based oil which is non-edible but can be used in vehicles with proper blending of petrol and diesel etc.
In India’s energy mix, still larger amount from coal as well as oil which forms 70% of energy mix. There is greater need of saving renewable energy so as to use them when they are not existing, such as solar energy at night, wind energy when there is no wind etc. There is great potential in hydropower which can be explored to the best capacity utilisation of resource. India has to fulfil its commitment of Paris agreement whereby atleast 40% of energy mix should come from non-fossil fuel sources including nuclear by 2030.
Connecting the dots:
- What do you understand by alternative fuels? Describe how they will help India to emerge as a cleaner and greener socio-economic country.