Friday, December 14, 2007

LPG: A Solution to Vietnam’s Pollution Problems

In highly populated Vietnam, whose small landmass of 330,000 square kilometers holds 78 million people, a major concern has always been transportation. Efficient and inexpensive, scooters and motorbikes have become the most popular way of movement of many inhabitants of the large metropolitan centers. The downside of this trend is the environmental effects of pollution generated primarily from the scores of small, mainly two stroke engines that can emit as much or more exhaust as 3 large semi trucks. Two stroke engine powered vehicles burn an oil-gasoline mixture, emitting more smoke, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter than their four stroke cousins. Unfortunately these engines are cheaper to buy and easier to maintain. In Hochiminh city, much to the chagrin of clean air proponents, many city dwellers have set up their own independent “baby taxis” by simply adding sidecars to their small motorbikes and scooters. This makes the dirty two stroke engines work even harder, because of their insufficient power to carry 2 or more passengers, belching out even more exhaust than ever.

The World Health Organization has been urging these highly populated cities to monitor and regulate these environmentally harmful vehicles because as air pollution grows worse and worse, increasing numbers of the inhabitants are infected with respiratory illness, overloading hospitals, and increasing the mortality rate. Legislators have tried to limit the number of motorbikes and scooters, but new research has shown that a more realistic alternative would be a simple modification of the motorbike and scooter population to run on a cleaner burning fuel. This fuel is Liquefied Petroleum Gas, or LPG.

LPG is a mixture of propane and butane; the simple makeup of these two gases fuse beautifully into one of the cleanest burning fuel alternatives available today. The large tanked scooters that are so prevalent in Vietnam could be retrofitted to house an LPG tank underneath their seats instead of the gasoline tanks that are currently present. LPG powered engines or hybrid LPG and gasoline-powered engines are cleaner burning not only for the environment but within the engines as well. Engine durability and longevity is increased because LPG does not create the particulate or soot created in the two-stroke gasoline engines, allowing the cylinders and pistons to be mostly corrosion free. These engines also burn less oil as well, making lubrication of the moving parts easier and longer lasting.

Companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp are adept at extracting and distributing the necessary natural gas for fueling these clean burning vehicles, helping to ensure a safer environment today and in the future.

About the Author: Robert Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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