Crop Circle Messages

All I Need Is the Air that I breathe! Does anyone here remember that "catchy tune"? Yes it was as true then as it is now, because without the proper air, we tend to die. But thankfully we have our "Global Polly's" working on our side (?) to love and protect their "Global Little Children", at least one would hope! So, is this the case? Do these "caring guardians" help and look over us? A good example would be to show you how these "Guardians" have done away with "Leaded Petrol" recently, so as we can "all" live and breathe cleaner-greener non harmful air. Another good example of seeing our taxes at work would also be, to give these "World Leaders" their due credit for having the foresight and guidance to steer us in the right direction, (?) and to educate (brain wash) us through advertisements which tell us how "Clean And Green" this new "Un-Leaded Petrol" is. Yes I am now "conditioned" to use this wonderful new product! In fact it sounds so good and safe, that I might even try mixing a little in with the soda that I will have with my dinner tonight! How could I go wrong? Yes I bet we are all tucked up right now, in our "cozy little hideaway" contemplating our navel, as there is not much else we need to worry about, apart from sleeping, knowing full well that our "Polly Watcher's" are watching over us. Or are they? Did they just spend all the money that I have worked for all of my life on that "Executive Luncheon" for six over an hour to discuss the marketing plan for this new wonder fuel? Ah well it doesn't matter! Do You Know why all new cars have Catalytic Converters? Yes! That's right! They are there to "Burn Off" the pollutant's, and "Carcinogenic Gasses" which an "Internal combustion engine" produces when it is running. My we are moving through this quickly! So furthermore, we see that these "Catalytic Converters" MUST BE at the "correct temperature", before they can start to do this. (This temperature can take up to 10 minutes to become correct). Hey! Hang on a minute! what happens to the "Poisonous Pollutant Gasses" while this "Warm up" takes place? That's right again you guessed it! Yes they are being released into our lungs! Hang on, your saying that we are breathing in poisonous gasses? Yes that's right. And another thing just dawned on me! Why would "Our Protectors" (?) not have had the "fore-sight" to not "encourage us to use it" in motorized vehicles such as older cars, lawn mowers, chain saws, and all the other engines which do not have these catalytic converters fitted to them? And then another thing just entered my mind. What about the cars that have these converters, but they no longer work, and are faulty? Hey hang on Fred, don't go yet! I still want to talk to you about starting that "gas mask shop" you were coughing over the other day. Are 'Ethics' an issue when global 'Greed' Is on The agenda? I ask you this question, and I would like to see your reply's and other questions in our forum for us to discuss. Till then, breathe easy and may love be with you. (C.N.) Euro norms and beyond for automobiles ----------------------------------------------------------------- --------------- The magic epithets 'Euro-3 or Euro-4 conformant' for automobiles, signifying the fulfillment of emission norms, have become the hallmark of environmentally-friendly vehicles. These vehicular emission-control legislative norms evolved in Europe and similar norms crystallized in other industrially advanced countries over many decades of experience will not serve the purpose in many developing countries such as India. These developed countries had the necessary lead-time to develop the infrastructure needed, in terms of clean fuel and lube oil supply, proper roads and traffic regulation, and periodic vehicle maintenance programmes. They were all 'tuned' to reap the full benefits envisaged by the stringent norms. These norms as formulated were mainly structured for the liquid fuels of petroleum origin, such as petrol and diesel oil, and address limits for regulating the exhaust discharge of carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons (UHC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and smoke and particulates for diesel vehicles. These norms need continuing review whenever alternative fuels are used. For example, non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC) and aldehyde emissions may be significant when LPG, CNG and alcohol fuels are used to power vehicles; these are gradually emerging as increasingly used alternative fuels for petrol and diesel oil. As it stands, without going into numbers, these norms are stringent and pose a challenging opportunity for the automobile and ancillary industries in the development of clean and fuel- efficient automobiles. As far as India is concerned, our automobile industry must also face this challenge if it has to export spare parts and automobiles to global markets. But the imposition of such stringent norms in Indian conditions will reap few benefits in the current situation. Just one revealing example could illustrate this point. Three-way catalytic converters (TWC) are fitted on the vehicles now to fulfil the requirements of the Euro norms. This requires electronic fuel injection systems, such as single-point injection (SPI) and multi-point injection (MPI). TWCs are fitments required on the vehicles to clean up the exhaust gases by simultaneously destroying all the three regulated pollutants -- CO, UHC and NOx. For this to happen, an electronically controlled fuel- air ratio device is incorporated which is expected to manage this ratio at the desired (stoichiometric) level. This can occur only when steady speed running is possible. With our traffic congestion and frequent stop-and-go (transient) driving, is this ever possible? Next, with the spiralling of the petrol price, is it desirable to run a vehicle on stoichiometric ratio, which does not give higher kilometres per litre of petrol? But the regulation requires mandatory fitment of TWC, and ironically, even carburetted vehicles, which are not adaptable for electronic fuel management, were fitted with TWCs and marketed. The customer pays for the TWC, which is expensive as the catalyst contains noble metals, like platinum and rubidium. Besides, any combustion irregularities, such as missing and driving under transient conditions, damage these catalysts. Even though, lead-free petrol is mandatory by regulation for maintaining the activity of the TWCs, the prevailing adulteration of petrol can poison and irreversibly damage the catalyst. In advanced countries, mandatory fitment of "on-board diagnostics" (OBCs) continuously monitor the malfunctions of the engine, damaging the TWCs. In the absence of this, it is anybody's guess how many so-called Euro norm-conformant vehicles are doing their job for a greener environment! Blissfully ignorant of this, the customer is constrained to pay for costlier equipment. It would as well be better not to enforce fitment of TWCs till the priorities are met. The above is not the only example of inappropriateness of refined Euro regulations at this point of time in India. Without going into details, insistence of Emission Under Control (EUC) certificates, and novel design features like four-valve engines, double overhead cam designs, variable-valve, variable- timing electronic control, and five-speed gear-shift, and other technically advanced features, would pay little dividends as the prevailing mis-match of infrastructural needs stand. Our auto industries are striving to manufacture these items conformant to Euro standards to get into global market. And many of the ancillary industries are facing these challenges creditably. As far as national requirements are concerned, the enforcement of advanced Euro emission standards would only result in the borrowing of 'futile imported technology' -- in the words of Mr V. R. Krishna Iyer, retired Supreme Court Judge! The priorities are the provision of clean fuel, according to specifications, development of road infrastructure, traffic regulation, and above all, eliminating other uncontrolled sources of air-pollution. India still relies on the burning of non-commercial fuels, such as firewood, cow-dung cakes and other combustible materials which discharge more pollutants to atmosphere. The pavements of our cities are encroached on by fast- food stalls, auto workshops involving welding, and static electric generators, discharging harmful gases directly onto the pedestrians. Moreover, there is no restricted area stipulated for fireworks displays during festivities. These are major sources of pollutants discharging particulates and carcinogenic gases. These sources are not noticed or quantified. These may well exceed those from the auto-vehicles. The Euro norms would only be effective after controlling the pollution from these major sources. The priority ought to be the development of fuel-efficient and clean vehicles for mobility of the common public, such as two- and three- wheelers, and utility vehicles such as much-used or abused fish carts. Development of alternative fuels from renewable sources such as alcohols must take the priority over the imposition of Euro standards. Indeed, India could well skip Euro 3 and Euro 4 norms for domestic application with very little impact on the total quality of the atmosphere. These standards are structured for the use of liquid fuels from petroleum. The use of CNG, LPG and, more desirably, ethanol may require entirely new regulations beyond Euro standards as they stand now. This would give more time for development of alternative fuel technology from renewable sources. New modes of transportation, such as battery-powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles and ultimately fuel-cell powered vehicles must engage the attention of our scientists. Advances in information and communications technologies have been phenomenal. Figuratively speaking, the future automobile may well run on information, with automatic guidance and control. Power plants may be remotely located so as not to interfere with the streets. Intelligent transport systems aim at such a mobility plan for the future. This may seem a distant dream, but it may become a reality sooner than we think. Petrol Petrol can contain up to 5% of benzene, a known human carcinogen with a Maximum Exposure Limit (MEL) of 5 ppm. Petrol is consequently classified as Carcinogenic, Category 2 as it contains 0.1% or more of a known carcinogen. Typically, monitoring by oil companies indicates that filling station occupational exposures are below 1 ppm (8 hour TWA) even for pump attendant operated sites. Many controls can be implemented/maintained to ensure that exposures are maintained as far below the 5 ppm MEL as possible, i.e. minimisation of spills, leaks or fumes provision of hygiene measures including washing facilities designation of areas and installations which may be contaminated with petrol and the use of warning signs safe storage, handling and disposal practices and procedures to deal with spillages monitoring, which is requisite under the Carcinogens Approved Code of Practice information, instruction and training.