BS VI fuel: Big leap in checking pollution

Though the Auto Fuel Policy 2025 mandated BS V by 2021 and BS VI standards by 2024, the Union government decided to skip BS V and directly go for BS VI by April 2020 considering the alarming rise in levels of pollution. BS VI fuels come with extremely low levels of sulphur content at 10 ppm for both petrol and diesel. Bharat State VI standards prescribe vehicular emission norms that are “fuel neutral” wherein the gap between emission from diesel and petrol vehicles considerably narrows. The first Auto Fuel Policy was announced in 2002 wherein 13 metros had to move to BS III standards from April 2005 and rest of India to BS II standards. Emission from vehicles depends on the fuel used and emission standards are prescribed to regulate the same.


Bharat State VI standards prescribe vehicular emission norms that are “fuel neutral” wherein the gap between emission from diesel and petrol vehicles considerably narrows.

Though the Auto Fuel Policy suggested by expert committee headed by R.A. Mashelkar had earlier set an April 2024 deadline for BS VI norms, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways advanced the date to April 1, 2020. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas took up the challenge by asking refineries to produce BS VI quality fuel by the deadline, said M. Venkatesh, Director (Refinery), Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.

India will join the U.S., Japan and the European Union by switching over to BS VI standards, which is equivalent to Euro Stage VI.

Regulating output

BS VI norms by the Union government seek to regulate air pollutants’ output from internal combustion engines, including motor vehicles. Emission from vehicles depends on the fuel used and emission standards are prescribed to regulate the same. At present, BS IV norms are applicable across the country.

BS VI fuels come with extremely low levels of sulphur content at 10 ppm for both petrol and diesel. Sulphur is a major pollutant in vehicle exhaust emission with its oxide causing smog.

Background

Emission norms were introduced in the country in 1991. From 1996, these were tightened. Manufacturers had to incorporate technology upgrades such as catalytic converters to cut exhaust emissions.

The Centre notified BS I and BS II norms for the rest of India and in the National Capital Region and other metros respectively in 2000. The first Auto Fuel Policy was announced in 2002 wherein 13 metros had to move to BS III standards from April 2005 and rest of India to BS II standards. BS IV was introduced for 13 cities in April 2010, major cities in April 2016 and pan-India in April 2017, Mr. Venkatesh said.

Though the Auto Fuel Policy 2025 mandated BS V by 2021 and BS VI standards by 2024, the Union government decided to skip BS V and directly go for BS VI by April 2020 considering the alarming rise in levels of pollution.

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