This spring, Beijing has visibly increased its “Blue Sky” days. However, recently, days of heavy smog shroud again swathes of northern China due to unfavorable weather conditions.
In 2017, China’s battle for blue skies has achieved an initial victory. The average concentration of PM10 in the 338 prefecture-level and above cities dropped by 22.7% over last year, and the PM2.5 in major regions such as Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta decreased by 39.6%, 34.3% and 27.7% respectively as compared with 2016.
However, only 29% of the ambient air quality standards of 338 prefecture-level and above cities in China are up to standard and China’s air pollution control still has a long way to go.
Deputy to 13th NPC, Chairman of Levima, Mr. Deng Yueming told China Science Daily that vehicles, especially diesel vehicles, contribute a significant portion, if not the largest part, of most air pollutants. These pollutants include PM2.5, PM10, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, etc. Diesel engines produce 30 times more particulate emissions than gasoline engines. Therefore, it is of great significance to improve the quality of diesel oil products and reduce emissions from diesel vehicles. In addition to improving diesel fuel refining standards, adding fuel additives in oil products will be another effective way to improve fuel properties and reduce emissions.
At present, research institutes and relevant enterprises in China have made great progress in the field of environmentally friendly diesel additive technology. The quality of related additives varies greatly due to a lack of uniform quality standard, even though relevant technology has already reached a period of maturity. Some technology roadmaps have been scaled up from the laboratory to a pilot unit but haven’t achieved large-scale implementation.
According to Mr. Zheng, authorities should encourage the industrialization of eco-friendly diesel fuel additives, support the construction of industrial demonstration units, set diesel fuel quality standards, related regulations and laws applied to diesel vehicles.
"Based on the status quo of China's refined oil production and sales, fuel additives could hardly be implemented on a large industrial scale if there is no explicit policy of support for them. It is recommended that the country issue relevant policies and provide strong support for tax deduction, tax exemption, application, popularization of related technologies," said Zheng Yueming.
(Originally posted on March 12, 2018, China Science Daily, Page 1. Please click on the link for more information: 雾霾又来了 环保部回应——“大气污染治理还在负重爬坡”)