TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Director of the leaded fuel eradication committee (KPBB) Ahmad Safrudin said that the high levels of sulfur contained in several types of fuel have shown direct effects on Jakarta’s air quality.
The effects on using leaded fuel is an incomplete combustion process from internal combustion engines (ICE), which releases dangerous leftover elements such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and hydrocarbon (HC).
According to Ahmad, the high levels of nitrous oxide from a vehicle’s exhaust can cause lung nodules or spots in a person’s lungs. This is proven dangerous for children as this demographic is prone to contracting pneumonia after prolonged exposure to air that contains NOx from vehicles’ exhausts.
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“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 under a cool environment,” said Ahmad to Tempo when we reached him today.
The sulfur contents within the fuel sold across Jakarta are traced back to two types of fuel sold in the market, ‘premium’ fuel and ‘solar’ diesel fuel. He assessed that the two contain high levels of sulfur where the former contains 200 PPM while the latter has 2,000 PPM.
He compared this to cities in other countries that have regulated fuels to have a maximum sulfur content of 50 PPM, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. This is not just for the environment, he said, but also to meet the minimum requirement for modern engine specifications to perform normally.
“Our government did not immediately adopt this since we suspect the government and Pertamina are driven by oil traders,” said Ahmad.