Checking Air Pollution

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    By Emmauel Obianke

    Emmanuel Obianke is a student of chemical engineering, interested in climate change issues.

    I boarded a bus from Benin south-south Nigeria heading to Auchi. my bus was an 18seater Toyota hilux bus popularly known as hummer bus, one that could be regarded as the best. Midway into our journey around Ewu, after the University town of Ekpoma along the Benin-Abuja express way, we approached a hill. Ascending uphill before us was a truck loaded with timber product heading to Northern Nigeria. the truck posed a very big challenge to us as the truck was emitting from its exhaust pipe very thick, black and poisonous gas, one capable of causing blindness or severe choking, the smoke was so bad that visibility was a problem. There was a long queue of vehicles behind us and it was slowly developing into a traffic jam. By chance we were able to overtake the truck just after the hill.
    This encounter birthed a topic of discussion among the passenger, who began wondering why some vehicles would produce so much smoke thick enough to cause problems while other vehicles, like the bus we were travelling in produces little or no visible smoke. The driver then engage us in a 30min lecture, citing the reason as his wise investment in a converter.

    A CATALYTIC CONVERTER is a little valve usually built in the exhaust of vehicles. It’s a vehicle’s emissions control device which converts toxic by-products of combustion engines to a less toxic substance by way of catalysed chemical reaction. The specific reaction which takes place in the converter are dependent on the catalyst .The beauty of this device is that it’s usually fitted with a three way converter that specifically filters the 3 major pollutants usually found in our petrol(fuel); Carbon monoxide, oxide of nitrogen and hydrogen. From its first use in the USA in 1975, catalytic converters had spread worldwide as an environmental protection/control device and also as one of the latest advancement of technology.   It is now being used in exhaust system of other combustible engines like generators, trucks, buses, locomotives, trains, motorcycles, airplanes, grinding machines and others. it has also been adopted  in environmental protection laws of some countries like the USA, Japan and Korea. In Africa and Nigeria particular, there is no law to check vehicles without converters. This could be because cars are not manufactured in Africa. The country can only assemble parts o make cars.   Until such laws are passed, we would keep living in a world so polluted. When next you board a car or use a car, check how much emission is going on.  Want to know how good your catalytic converter is working? Stay on this page.

    MAKE THE CLIMATE YOUR FRIEND and do good things to this your ‘FRIEND’.

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