Taiwan toughens fuel controls to reduce pollution

Aviation, land-based, and marine fuels subject to stricter standards from July 1

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(Facebook, Port of Kaohsiung photo)

(Facebook, Port of Kaohsiung photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan announced Friday (March 20) tougher measures to control aviation, land-based, and marine fuels, in a bid to reduce air pollution, with the new fuel standards taking effect on July 1.

According to the adjusted standards, a cap of 3.5 to 0.5 percent of sulfur is imposed on fuel used by vessels. For fuel used by airplanes, the maximum amount of sulfur allowed has also been reduced, from 0.3 to 0.2 percent, said Tsai Mong-yu (蔡孟裕), director of the Department of Air Quality Protection & Noise Control, Environmental Protection Administration.

The regulations are expected to slash sulfur dioxide emissions by 5,220 tons and bring down concentrations of PM2. 5 (particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) pollutants, while improving visibility and reducing acid rain.

In addition, land based petrol and diesel fuels are also subject to stricter controls to mitigate public exposure to carcinogens. Benzene levels in petrol must not exceed 0.9 percent, while the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel fuel must be kept under 8 percent.