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
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
Do You Know why all new cars have
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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 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.