[MCN] Electric cars will increase demand for (nuclear- or coal-powered?) electricity
lance at wildrockies.org
Sun Aug 13 08:50:50 EDT 2017
NATURE | EDITORIALSharing
Ditching diesel won’t clear the air
Arguments about the environmental benefits of petrol or diesel engines are outdated.
17 July 2017
The image of diesel as a cleaner fuel was hardly helped by the 2015 scandal in which the German car manufacturer Volkswagen was caught cheating on emission tests. The company’s diesel vehicles were found to be much more polluting than Volkswagen had claimed.
So, is petrol now good and diesel bad? Not quite — at least according to an analysis of the two engine types published this week in the journal Scientific Reports (S. M. Platt et al. Sci. Rep. 7,4926; 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03714-9>). There is no dispute on nitrogen oxides: combustion of diesel simply produces much more of them than burning petrol, and that’s damaging because the gases can aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. (As well as having indirect effects such as the generation of low-level ozone.)
But the picture is less clear-cut when it comes to a different exhaust pollutant. According to the analysis, newer diesel engines actually spew out less toxic sooty waste than petrol versions. That’s because most of the carbonaceous particulate matter produced when the fuel is burnt is trapped by the filters that are fitted to modern diesel vehicles. The difference is especially pronounced in cold conditions, and the scientists concluded that “diesel cars are not necessarily worse polluters than gasoline cars”.
Put another way, petrol cars are not always cleaner. So why not do away with diesel and petrol engines altogether? The Swedish carmaker Volvo pledged to do just that earlier this month, saying that all new models will be battery-driven or hybrid by 2019. And France and Germany, among other countries, have made plans to drive both petrol and diesel cars from the road. It sounds good for the environment, but the issue then, of course, is how to generate the electricity needed to replace the liquid fuel. Britain’s National Grid said this week that increased demand for vehicle charging could soak up the output of an entire major nuclear power station by 2030. Maybe more people could, well, walk?
"The academic community inadvertently made a mistake by introducing climate change using mind numbing scientific details.
To truly understand what is happening all one needs to worry about is the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere.
Carbon in the atmosphere is the earth’s thermostat. Period."
The Maritime Executive
We Can Fix Climate Change If We First Fix Congress
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Missoula-Community-News