Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Switch to Unleaded Petrol "In Sight" for Africa

23.01.2003


Voluntary Initiative, Born Out of WSSD, Set to Deliver Major Health and Environmental Benefits to Continent’s 800 Million Citizens



UNEP’s Governing Council 3 to 7 February: Environment for Development


An international effort to phase out lead, the health-hazardous heavy metal, from petrol is accelerating as increasing numbers of African countries switch to unleaded fuel.


Research, to be presented to environment ministers attending a key conference organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), indicates that within five years most African countries will have phased out, or be close to phasing out, lead from petrol.

A survey carried out by UNEP, which is a leading member of the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, shows that four countries- Egypt, Libya, Mauritius and the Sudan- are already fully lead free. This year four other nations or dependent territories, Morocco, Reunion, Tunisia and Western Sahara will join them.

Meanwhile, a further 22 including Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Uganda have or are in the process of drawing up action plans to phase out leaded by 2005-2006 the research indicates.

Plans are under way to bring the remaining countries on board, many of whom are in Central Africa, in order to deliver the goal of a lead-free Continent and a lead free world.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, said: “ It has been known for many years that lead in petrol or gasoline is a serious health risk particularly to children. Studies have demonstrated that children living near roads and in urban areas where leaded petrol is used, can suffer brain damage with symptoms including lower intelligence scores. This is why it has been phased out and banned in countries in Western Europe, North America, parts of the Far East and elsewhere and why it is being rapidly phased out in many other parts of the world”.

“But much of Africa, mainly for technological reasons, a lack of awareness of the health risks and misconceptions about the impact of unleaded fuels on the engines, has lagged behind. However, partly because of work already under way and the new impetus from the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, the situation is rapidly changing and a lead free Africa is in sight. Lead is not the only pollutant they are targeting. Others include sulphur, which is linked with effects including smog and the acidification of waterways,” he said.

“This is one, if not the, first concrete outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held six months ago in Johannesburg, South Africa. The voluntary initiative, a so-called Type II project, was born there with funding and support from Governments, the private sector including the oil and automobile industries, civil society and international organizations like UNEP. Let us hope that the success being achieved, bodes well for the other Type II voluntary partnerships in areas ranging from coral reefs to environmental law,” said Mr Toepfer.

He announced today that, as a small but symbolic push toward the lead-free goal, the on-site filling station at the United Nations headquarters in Kenya, which currently sells both leaded and unleaded petrol, will in future only sell unleaded fuel.

Rob De Jong, UNEP’s programme officer for urban environment, said there were a lot of motoring myths about leaded versus unleaded fuels which was making some vehicle owners reluctant to use the cleaner fuel.

“Many people who drive older cars are convinced that they will suffer engine damage if they fill up with unleaded fuel. But this really is not the case. Only under the extreme conditions of a laboratory test can effects be seen. In the real world, under normal motoring conditions prevailing in Africa, unleaded petrol works well if not better in most if not all vehicles. Unleaded petrol also allows motorists to drive vehicles with catalytic converters. This is another key health and environmental reason for using the cleaner fuels as they can reduce emissions by 90 per cent,’ he said.

The WSSD and its Plan of Implementation has targets and timetables for a wide range of sustainable development issues. In respect of leaded petrol, it calls for the rapid, global phase out, of this key pollutant. The work is also being guided by the Dakar Declaration of March 2002 in which countries backed a phase out of lead in petrol by 2005.

Nearly $500,000 has been pledged by partners for this. UNEP is acting as a “clearing house”, through which the various partners will be gathering and exchanging information on key issues including the status of phase-outs in developing countries.

UNEP will also be assisting in developing and implementing action plans, organizing workshops to help countries phase out lead in petrol as well as promote cleaner fuels and vehicles in general, bring in new partners and develop and distribute fact packs and other information materials to assist countries in informing consumers on the argument in favour of unleaded fuels.

Nick Nuttall | alfa

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>