Thursday, August 15, 2019

Is the statutory ban against idling motor vehicle engines is helpful in improving the air quality of Hong Kong? Essay

Although the statutory ban against idling motor vehicle engines is helpful in improving the air quality of Hong Kong, there are some exemptions which cannot be avoided. For example : traffic jams occur and all the vehicles will remain stationary but have their engines on. This situation cannot apply to the ban because the drivers are forced to idle their cars and they are not willing to do that, so they are not considered to violate the law. Another exemption is that some vehicles need to keep their engines on in order to prevent the deterioration of their goods, such as vehicles which their owners sell their ice-cream and the engines are needed to turn on in order to provide the refrigerative function. Therefore, can we say that the ban is effective? In our group, we all agree that it is ineffective in lowering the API of Hong Kong because there are many exemptions in the ban and a lot of drivers can escape from the law. Furthermore, the sources of air pollutants are not only from the vehicles, but also from the operations of factories and power stations, so only establishing law to prevent the drivers from idling the motor vehicle engines is not enough to protect our living environment. We need to have other possible solutions to help meliorating the problem. In order to reduce the air pollutants emitted by the vehicles, we suggest installing a 3-way catalytic converter, which can oxidize carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide 2CO + O2 —> 2CO2, unburnt hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water CxH2x+2 + (3x+1)/2 O2 —> xCO2 + (x+1) H2O and reduce nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen 2NOx —?N2 ? xO2. Nevertheless, the catalytic converter cannot be used on leaded petrol vehicles because Lead will poison the catalyst such as Platinum inside the converter. Indeed, there are more possible solutions to solve the problem. Expanding the rail network or using public transports instead of private cars can also improve the air quality because the amount of cars used can be reduced and the emission of pollutants from cars can also be diminished. The usage of environment-friendly cars are also effective due to the use of electricity instead of hydrocarbons to provide fuels for motion, but these types of cars have a higher cost and inconvenient for charging the batteries frequently. Moreover, planting trees not only can help absorbing the excess carbon dioxide emitted from power stations or vehicles, this method can also help regulating the temperature because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which can cause global warming. To conclude, all people should have the responsibilities to take part in improving the air quality. The statutory ban is not sufficient to improve the air quality, so other methods which have mentioned before should be introduced. If people in Hong Kong can have more concern about our poor living environment, we are sure that they will contribute for improving it throughout their daily lives. We hope that people can pay more attention to this situation and thus Hong Kong’s API can be lowered

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