Study of Air Quality in Dhaka City Consequent to Introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as Transport Fuel

Name of the Project :
Study of Air Quality in Dhaka City Consequent to Introduction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as Transport Fuel
Country:  Bangladesh
Project Location:  Country-wide Professional staff  provided
By the company: 62
Name of Client: Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh No. of man-months: 12
Start Date (month/year): July 2005 Completion Date(month/year):
June 2006
Approx. value of services: 1.0  Million Taka
Name of Associate Firm, if any: Premier Consultants Limited.
Bangladesh Center for Development Research.
No. of man-months of professional staff provided by associate firm(s):
    No. : 25 Man-month:6
Senior Staff Involved and Functions Performed:
Dr. Anwar Hossain
Dr.  Md Kholiquzzaman
Dr. Aminur Rahman
Ms. Shima Amin
Team Leader
Civil Engineer
Environmental Specialist
System Analyst
Detailed Narrative Description of Project:
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is the center of all administrative, economic and cultural activities. The city has now a population of more than 12 million in the area of 2,000 square kilometer. According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), there are around 3.5 lakh motorized vehicles operating in Dhaka city. Vehicle emission in Dhaka city is increasing day by day with the increase of motor vehicle thus polluting the environment. It has been recognized that motor vehicles play a leading role in the problem of urban air pollution. Road transportation has most adversely affected the air quality in Dhaka City. The existing fleet of 3.5 lakh motor vehicles in Dhaka contributes nearly 70% of the total air pollution load. To improve the air quality in Dhaka various measures viz. improvement of engine technology, fuel quality, use of exhaust treatment devices, use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) etc. have been adopted in the recent years by the Government. The CNG vehicles have been assumed as non-polluting vehicles, hence no certification was required until recently for tail-pipe emissions. To understand how these in-use CNG vehicles compared against their petrol-driven counterparts, this study is undertaken in Dhaka city. The tailpipe CO and HC emission characteristics of CNG vehicles were analyzed and compared against the emission characteristics of similar vehicle categories earlier using petrol as fuel. The emission levels were compared against the legislated tailpipe CO emission standards of 3% (by volume) for both CNG three and four wheelers with respect to CO emission standards of 7.0% and 4.5% (by volume) for petrol three and four wheelers respectively. The comparison has revealed notable reduction in CO and HC emissions from CNG driven vehicles, especially from three wheelers. In this regard, more research is necessary to find out the right way of reducing the vehicle emission to the minimum level. As the number of CNG vehicles and CNG conversion workshops are increasing day-by-day, there is a pressing need to initiate the process of certification and generation of database for CNG driven vehicles. It will ,on one hand, provide the information regarding effectiveness of CNG as transport fuel and on the other hand, it will help to improve the CNG technology continuously to reduce vehicle emission. It is recommended that further work should be carried out on the study of Air Quality in other Divisional cities, especially in Chittagong, as the CNG vehicles are added in the transport fleet of these cities.

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