Beijing has launched a clean-up project by modifying diesel buses aiming at reducing 90 percent of the respirable particle emissions belched from them.
The pilot modification project will be carried out among 25 diesel buses of the city, said Merrylin Zaw-Mon, director of the Certification and Compliance Division of the United States' Environmental Protection Agency, quoted by Friday's China Daily.
According to the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, respirable particles are a major threat to Beijing's air, and many of those particles are emitted by diesel engines.
With the project, a filter and diesel oxidation catalyst will be fitted to the vehicles, which will be run on low sulphur diesel.
Currently about 120,000 diesel-fueled vehicles are on the road in Beijing. Only 24 percent of them conform to the Euro II exhaust emissions standard, and 37 percent do not even meet the Euro I standard, according to the English-language newspaper.
The project came at a time when Beijing's Olympic preparations are moving to a high gear. The city is embracing the 1,000-day countdown of the 2008 Olympic Games on Friday.
The number of vehicles on road is expected to amount to 3.5 million in 2008, up from the current number of 2.5 million. Controlling exhaust emissions will be a major task for the municipal authorities.
(Xinhua News Agency November 11, 2005)