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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know where I can get reliable percentage figures on the amount of pollution produced in a cars lifetime, including the manufacture and disposal? Need it urgently for a presentation. :rolleyes:

I've got a bit of uncorroborated info that goes, 40% manufacturing, 40% running (exhaust,oil,tyres), and 20% disposal (scrapping). I'll be happy if someone can confirm or refute that :)
 

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Hmm, I spent a loooong time googling for that sort of info a little while back and couldn't come up with any definitive figures.

CAR magazine ran a feature in the 90s when Unleaded fuel was being phased in and they claimed that a car would have to cover an average annual mileage of 12,000 miles for SEVENTY years before equalling the amount of energy used during manufacture. There's no way I can find the mag right now though, it'll be buried away in one of the many many piles of mags I have here :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I've often heard or read quotes on the subject. For instance Jim Tylers Beetle resto book states the 40% figure for manufacturing,but I just can't find any definitive sources.
Ah well- I'll keep looking :)
 

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A little known thing called "Global dimming".

Essentially the theory went that particulate pollution served to block out the sun's energy - in effect cooling the planet to some degree.
It was nigh on impossible to test though, as there's no way to make a comparisson.

One of the major sources was believed to be contrails from aircraft. Sometimes they are so extensive they cover a large portion of the sky. It remained untested and almost entirely theoretical until - September 11th 2001.

In the three days following "9/11" almost all aircraft in the US were grounded. In effect this meant - no contrails. One type of particulate pollution was completely removed for three whole days. In those three days the proponents of the theory went nuts checking meteological stations all over the US - mainly for temperature readings.

While temperatures change vastly throughout the day, and from day to day - the temperature range (difference between maximum and minimum temperatures over the course of a day in any given place) changes only very slowly. For those three days of grounded aircraft, the temperature range in the USA jumped up by 1 degree. Not much in everyday terms, but a huge difference in meteological terms. When the contrails came back as flights resumed, the temperature settled back to what it was before September the 9th. This added a lot of weight to the theory of global dimming.

So what does this all mean?
In essence global dimming acts as a braking, or counter-force to global warming.
It's not entirely good news. The big increase in temperatures (hotter summers, milder winters) we've been experiencing, could be due to the fact we have removed a lot of particulate pullution from factories and the roads using scrubbers and the like - while not removing the man made cause (if any) of global warming. If this force, global dimming, (previously not considered by many, and thought to be much weaker by others) is stronger than originally thought, it means that global warming is also stronger than we thought.

You now have just about all the information I have on it. I'm no expert, I saw a very interesting (if you're into that kind of thing) documentary on it once and I have a tendancy to remember details. I'm not sure about who exactly was doing the research (names and so on - not too hot on remembering those) but I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to find more if one were interested.


Or you could just get your car belching out as much non-greenhouse particulate as possible and claim you're "just doing your bit to prevent global warming".
:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all. Knew Vzi would point me in the right direction :)

I just needed general percentages of all types of pollution produced from start of manufacture of a vehicle to it's destruction, from a credible source that I could quote. The purpose being to open up a debate on the currently accepted wisdom.


What would be really interesting would be figures relating to the alcohol powered Beetles in Brazil :)
 

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Now there's a comment I can't help but bite at.
Accepted wisdom with whom?

If it's purely about the pollutants put out in a car's lifetime that's one thing - but if you're getting into the whole "effect on climate" and so on "wisdom" probably isn't the best choice of words. Or maybe that's the intent? Sorry - it's late.
Despite what I posted in my previous post, I remain completely unconvinced by the predictions for catastrophic warming. Anyone old enough should remember that in the 70's we were meant to be heading into another ice age - the greens went nuts with it insisting the world was on the verge of freezing over - that didn't work so now we'll all burn.

Didn't the University of East Anglia have some kind of study underway - records showing no significant increase in average global temperature for the years 1998 to 2005?

I dunno - the whole global warming debate strikes me as a great big political football that the scientific community are crawling all over to the tune of about $2billion in the US alone.



Rant over.

Apologies - what is this all for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
WillBug said:
Now there's a comment I can't help but bite at.
Accepted wisdom with whom?

If it's purely about the pollutants put out in a car's lifetime that's one thing - but if you're getting into the whole "effect on climate" and so on "wisdom" probably isn't the best choice of words. Or maybe that's the intent? Sorry - it's late.
Despite what I posted in my previous post, I remain completely unconvinced by the predictions for catastrophic warming. Anyone old enough should remember that in the 70's we were meant to be heading into another ice age - the greens went nuts with it insisting the world was on the verge of freezing over - that didn't work so now we'll all burn.

Didn't the University of East Anglia have some kind of study underway - records showing no significant increase in average global temperature for the years 1998 to 2005?

I dunno - the whole global warming debate strikes me as a great big political football that the scientific community are crawling all over to the tune of about $2billion in the US alone.

Rant over.

Apologies - what is this all for?
I have to kick off a debate ' News: Reality and Truth'. I've chosen, and been deliberately vague about, 'car pollution' to stimulate discussion.

Personally I think there is more than enough to be skeptical about in the media promotion of current strategies, from government, business or elsewhere, on global warming or pollution which seem to me to encourage consumption thus contributing to the real or imagined problem.
 

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Plenty enough to be skeptical about - plenty of "science" in the area to be skeptical of too unfortunately.
Sounds like it could be an interesting debate. You'd want to hope that the participants were well read on the topic though - otherwise it could just descend into the classic "well it's obvious summers are getting hotter therefore it is happening" without anyone bringing up the fact that on a global level things really aren't changing all that much, if at all.

Do let me know how it goes. :)



Big Al - I've heard all kinds of things like that - ever noticed the stink out of unleaded cars? I have no idea what it is - but when I used to ride my bike a lot (I stopped because the roads just became far too dangerous and I don't plan to lose my life to some clown driving up the cycle lane or along the kerb when there is none) there were times when the smell and fumes coming off some modern card made me feel physically sick.
Roll on fuel cell is all I can say. Granted you might get a bit wet riding your bike then - but I'd rather that than the current situation.
 

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smell is H2S from un hot catalysts

fuel cells - never - overall energy required is too great

Bio fuels and better hybrids are the probable next propulsion systems as we have the engineering and infrasructure
 

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Cold catalytic convertors are responsible for most of the stink in the morning if you're cycling. I've worked in car dealers where the cars get moved around the showroom and the smell is unmistakable as they are always stone cold and run for only short periods (plus it's indoors)
 

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metric_thumbs said:
Interesting that you say Car polution in your title - I would then say - depends what you mean by pollution. And then that takes us into a whole new dimension.
from above posts, as I said - depends what you mean by pollution. Therein the great debate.

(never quoted myself before)
 

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Fuel cells, never at the moment...
I can't see why with a rethink of means of hydrogen production it could be a feasible system. And it's not like manufacturers aren't looking at it. Ford had cars on the road in california under test. I seem to remember a company had a fuel cell car on Top Gear recently (Chrysler?) - which was fly-by-wire and so completely illegal for road use - it was an illustration of concept, on a working fuel cell.

Biofuel for sure - there's actually a station in central manchester that sells biodiesel - got a flyer but not having the need for the stuff have never been along. I seem to remember they were charging not much less than regular diesel though - which seemed odd.

I do reckong fuel cells and electrics are the way forward though. Now things might not be right for it - but if you consider changes in methods of electricity production, powering decent cars on it and hydrolysis for fuel cells. I wouldn't write it off anyway.
Personally I think it is a great idea.

[EDIT: If you read this last paragraph before I changed it - ignore it - I was thinking about something else too and completely confused myself.
Anyway - roll on fuel cell!]
 
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