Air Quality — 27 June 2014

Here is a list of the 6,478 buses in the Transantiago bus fleet as of March 2014.  The list is grouped by model, year, and manufacturer.  These are diesel-powered vehicles, most of which are Mercedes Benz and Volvo.

Some Useful Links
Santiago Air Android App
Sources of Air Pollution in Santiago
Copper Smelters in Chile
Air Pollution in Santiago
Santiago Air Quality
Transantiago Contribution to Pollution
Electric Buses in Bogota

It is our view that the Transantiago bus system should switch to natural gas to reduce vehicle emissions and the level of particulate matter, ozone, and carbon monoxide pollution in Santiago.  Santiago is frequently blanketed with smog, most of which is PM pollution.  PM are airborne particles less than 10 microns in size that can pass into the lungs. Of course airborne particles can be larger than that, but the emission standards are for PM10 and PM2.5 referring to their size in microns.

Liquid natural gas is less expensive that diesel fuel on a liter-equivalent basis.  Cost is actually not a concern for the companies that provide bus transportation to Transantiago.   These companies are paid a subsidy that changes with the price of fuel.

PM (particulate matter) pollution is the main pollution problem in Santiago, with many days in winter surpassing both Chilean and EPA limits. The Santiago Air quality norms for PM pollution are much weaker than the EPA standard.  Days that Chilean regulations consider normal are listed by the EPA as unhealthy. We show current air quality conditions on both scale at this link.

The current standard in Chile for heavy duty diesel vehicles emissions is the Euro III standard.  That was adopted in Europe in 1999 and made effective 2000. The Chilean standard is data 14 years older than the current European standard, which is Euro VI, adopted in 2013 and made effective for vehicle models 2014 and newer.

The Santiago Euro III standard allows 10 times the PM contamination as the Euro VI standard.

Below is a graphic showing the European emission standards and the allowed level of contaminants.  g/kWh

european emission standardsSource: Diesel Net

The Euro VI standard in Europe cuts hydrocarbons by 1/2 and nitrogen dioxide by 5 times. There is no change to the carbon dioxide emission standards.

Carbon dioxide (CO) is not a pollutant like the other contaminants that affect the health except at extremely high amounts. Carbon dioxide is a concern for global warming, a topic that we are not reviewing in our documentation of Chilea air quality. We are concerned here with air quality with regard to health issues only.

It is our view that Chile should get air pollution under control before it concerns itself with carbon dioxide, which mainly comes form larger countries like China and the USA that burn lots of coal. Chile burns coal for electrical production, which is a topic that we are also studying in our air quality reports here.

Natural gas cuts PM pollution by over 90% and NOx by about 40% but still emits carbon dioxide.  Only electric vehicles would emit no CO2.  Chile does not have enough electricity for the expansion of its mining operations now, plus its consumers pay the highest prices in Latin America for electricity.   So using that to replace diesel fuel would be cost prohibitive at this point. Plus Chile already has about 1/4 of its taxi fleet using natural gas, so there is some experience with that and and a very small infrastructure of service stations which Santiago could grow.

The other contaminants in the heavy duty diesel vehicle emissions standards are:

CO—carbon monoxide

HC—hydrocarbons

NOx—nitrogen dioxide.  When combined with sunshine creates ozone.

PM—particulate matter.  

PN—particulate number.  (No definition is agreed for that yet, so we will ignore it.)

Smoke

Age of Vehicle Fleet

As you can see, 1,250 of the buses in the Transantiago fleet are 8 years old. The majority of the remainder of the fleet are from the years 2010 and 2012.

buses by year
year number of buses
2002 2
2003 101
2004 156
2005 611
2006 1,250
2007 218
2008 926
2009 299
2010 1,169
2011 201
2012 1,130
2013 226
2014 189

 

Bus Model and Year

Here is the count of buses by model number, year, and manufacturer.  It is possible to buy these buses with different types of engines, so it is not possible without knowing the engine model in each vehicle what are the emissions of each of these vehicles. But we do know that the current emissions standards are Euro III, so if the vehicles are meeting emission standards then at worst case the contaminants from these vehicles should not exceed the limits in Euro III.

Transantiago Buses
marca modelo year number of buses
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1420 51 2002 1
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1420 2002 1
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1318 48 2003 1
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2003 1
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 42.5 2003 13
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1418 52 2003 16
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1418 48 2003 5
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1418 2003 65
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1418 52 2004 10
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1418 2004 88
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1318 48 2004 28
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 46L SB 2004 30
VOLVO B9 SLA AUT 2005 6
VOLVO B7R 2005 5
VOLVO B7 RLE LOW AUT 2005 2
MERCEDES BENZ OHL 1115 2005 14
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY AUT 2005 556
VOLVO SIN MODELO 2005 2
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1318 48 2005 3
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 2005 10
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 46L 2005 1
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 46L SB 2005 12
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 AUT 2006 19
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 AUT 2006 5
VOLVO B7R 2006 2
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 L 2006 3
VOLVO SIN MODELO 2006 2
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 2006 28
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY AUT 2006 53
VOLVO B9 SLA AUT 2006 1,138
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 46L SB 2007 25
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 MEGA LOW ENTRY 2007 3
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 2007 49
VOLVO B9 SLA AUT 2007 7
VOLVO B9SALF AUT 2007 22
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 AUT 2007 4
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY AUT 2007 77
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 L 2007 3
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 1725 59 2007 1
MERCEDES BENZ 0500 U 2007 1
VOLVO B7R LE MKI EURO III 2007 2
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY 2007 7
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2007 17
MERCEDES BENZ O500 UA 2836 2008 6
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 1725 2008 3
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 2008 14
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1725 6.4 AUT 2008 1
MERCEDES BENZ O500 UA 2836 AUT 2008 209
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 46L SB 2008 3
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 2008 6
VOLVO B9 SALF 2008 3
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1725 AUT 2008 259
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 AUT 2008 27
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U AUT 2008 23
MERCEDES BENZ O500 UA 2008 2
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY AUT 2008 117
VOLVO B7RLE AUT 2008 47
MERCEDES BENZ OH 1115 L 2008 13
VOLVO B9 SLA AUT 2008 23
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY 2008 6
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 42.5 AUT 2008 51
MERCEDES BENZ 0500U 1725 AUT 2008 35
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 42.5 2008 1
VOLVO B9SALF AUT 2008 23
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2008 54
VOLVO B7R AUT 2009 9
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 1725 2009 14
MERCEDES BENZ 0500U 1725 AUT 2009 7
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2009 20
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1725 AUT 2009 43
VOLVO B7RLE AUT 2009 147
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 2009 25
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U AUT 2009 6
VOLVO B7RLE 2009 2
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 42.5 2009 1
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 48 AUT 2009 19
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 AUT 2009 6
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2010 1
MERCEDES BENZ O500 1726 59 AUT 2010 2
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1726 59 2010 5
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 2010 1
VOLVO B7RLE 290 2010 18
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1725 AUT 2010 2
VOLVO B7RLE 2010 34
VOLVO B7R AUT 2010 6
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1726 59 AUT 2010 1,013
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U AUT 2010 5
AGRALE MT 12.0 LE 2010 30
VOLVO B7RLE AUT 2010 52
SCANIA K230B 2011 2
VOLVO B7R LOW ENTRY 2011 2
VOLVO B7RLE 2011 4
VOLVO B7RLE 290 2011 190
VOLVO B9 SALF 2011 3
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 2012 416
MERCEDES BENZ LO 915 AUT 2012 9
VOLARE W9 FLY URBANO 2012 163
VOLARE W9 FLY 2012 6
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1726 59 2012 174
VOLVO B7RLE 2012 131
SCANIA K230UB 2012 231
SCANIA K230UB 2013 2
VOLVO B7RLE 2013 34
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U AUT 2013 4
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 2013 2
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1826 59 2013 184
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U 2014 8
MERCEDES BENZ O500U 1826 59 2014 115
VOLVO B290RLEU RB 2014 12
VOLVO B7R 2014 32
MERCEDES BENZ O500 U AUT 2014 22

 

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