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Cleaner fuels to help battle PM2.5

Shanghai will be able to produce cleaner fuels this year to help control PM2.5 pollution while fuel prices are also expected to rise, gasoline producers said yesterday.

Exhaust from motor vehicles and boats are the biggest source of local PM2.5 emissions, accounting for 25 percent of fine particles in the city’s air, according to the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

To reduce PM2.5 pollution, the government plans to adopt the stricter National V emission standard, equivalent to European V, on new cars. It also wants to introduce cleaner gasoline and diesel next year.

SINOPEC Shanghai Petrochemical Co Ltd said yesterday it has renovated its production line and will be capable of producing National V standard gasoline and diesel in October.

The company also introduced better technology in the production process to control pollution discharges.

In addition to setting strict emission standards on new cars and fuel, Shanghai will eliminate high-polluting vehicles and control discharges from key industrial plants to reduce PM2.5, which pose major health risks in addition to affecting air quality and visibility.

Vehicle emissions are responsible for 50 to 60 percent of air pollution in downtown areas and currently there are over 200,000 high polluting vehicles on city roads. Their exhaust discharge is 20 to 30 times higher than new cars.

Shanghai will expand the areas banning these high polluting vehicles and eliminate 150,000 of them by 2014, according to the officials from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Moreover, Shanghai is preparing for an official release of PM2.5 readings and has set up a PM2.5 monitoring network. The bureau has installed 24 stations to monitor PM2.5, fine particulate matter 2.5 microns or less in diameter that is the major cause of haze.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection issued a new air quality monitoring standard by adding PM2.5, ozone and carbon monoxide into the evaluation system.

Shanghai was one of the first cities chosen to carry out PM2.5 and ozone monitoring in a program to be introduced across China before 2016.

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