From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Winter grade diesel
Mains level : Not much
India’s armed forces may soon be using winter diesel for operations in high altitude areas such as Ladakh, where winter temperatures plummet to extremely low as -30° Celsius.
This year BS-VI compliant fuel was in news. Try differentiating the Winter Diesel with the BS-VI fuel.
What is Winter Diesel?
- Winter diesel is a specialised fuel that was introduced by Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. last year specifically for high altitude regions and low-temperature regions such as Ladakh, where ordinary diesel can become unusable.
- The flow characteristics of regular diesel change at such low temperatures and using it may be detrimental to vehicles.
- Winter diesel which contains additives to maintain lower viscosity can be used in temperatures as low as -30°C and that besides a low pour point, it had higher cetane rating — an indicator is the combustion speed of diesel and compression needed for ignition.
- It has lower sulphur content, which would lead to lower deposits in engines and better performance.
Back2Basics: BS-VI fuel
- Sulphur content in fuel is a major cause for concern. Sulphur dioxide released by fuel burning is a major pollutant that affects health as well.
- BS-VI fuel’s sulphur content is much lower than BS-IV fuel.
It is reduced to 10 mg/kg max in BS-VI from 50 mg/kg under BS-IV.
This reduction makes it possible to equip vehicles with better catalytic converters that capture pollutants. However, BS-VI fuel is expected to be costlier that BS-IV fuel.
With inputs from: