Traffic and air quality in India: Technologies and attitudes (TAQIITA) (Indo-Finland collaborative project)
Fine particulate matter is the pollutant of most concern in developing countries today on the basis of exposure, toxicity, and ambient concentrations. Two major contributors in transport to fine particulate air pollution are diesel vehicles and two-stroke engine gasoline vehicles. Due to strong motorization, India has become one of the biggest emitters of atmospheric pollutants. The country's fuel consumption in the transport sector has approximately doubled in every ten years since 1980.
Precise monitoring of air pollutants is required to frame adequate and proper action plans to reduce air pollution. Biodiesel as a low-emitting fuel can be used to meet future regulations to provide safeguard to environment and human health. Independent research programmes conducted in Europe and the US have reported that biodiesel in a 20 percent blend with petroleum diesel created a significant reduction in visible smoke and odour. Although the government has mandated the blending of biofuel with gasoline and diesel to reduce import cost of the crude oil vis-à-vis reduce the pollutants emission from the exhaust to some extent, but lack of availability and high market price of the biofuel restrict the total implementation of the biofuel policy.
Under the Indo-Finland bilateral project biofuel (Biodiesel and ethanol) will be developed. A future technology of a new air pollution measurement sensor for detecting the primary particulate of the vehicular emissions will also be developed, which will be tested in Indian and Finnish cities. The chemical and physical properties of tailpipe emissions of the Heavy Duty Vehicles and Passenger cars with different blends of biofuels will be characterized using state-of-the-art technologies under the project.