Ahmad Safrudin, director of the Leaded Fuel Eradication Committee (KPBB) has said that the high levels of sulphur contained in several types of fuel have shown to have negative effects on Jakarta’s air quality.
The leaded fuel’s incomplete combustion process from internal combustion engines (ICE) has released toxic leftover elements such as nitrous oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and hydrocarbons (HC). The high levels of nitrous oxide from a vehicle’s exhaust might lead to lung spotting. Prolonged exposure to air containing nitrous oxide from vehicle exhausts could lead to pneumonia, especially among children.
“Carbon monoxide is lethal. Try standing at the side of the road for half an hour and you’ll definitely feel exhausted even if you stand in a cool environment,” Ahmad explained.
There are two types of fuels sold across Jakarta, Premium and Solar Diesel. Ahmad stated that both contain high levels of sulphur. Premium fuel contains 200 PPM while Solar Diesel has 2,000 PPM. This is way above the limit set by other countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam at 50 PPM. The limit was not only set to benefit the environment, but also for the normal performance of vehicle engines.
“Our government did not immediately adopt this since we suspect the government and Pertamina are driven by oil traders,” said Ahmad.
Source: Kompas, Tempo