Something in the air

barely a year after its introduction in California, re-formulated petrol ( rfg ) is being hailed as the most effective means to check air pollution from automobiles since the catalytic converter. rfg accounts for 30 per cent of the us market, according to the Arco Oil group. They say that the average carbon monoxide emissions have come down by as much as 25 per cent after rfg was made mandatory. Emissions of benzene have been cut by 20 to 30 per cent, and the volume of hydrocarbons and evaporated unburnt petrol by about 15 per cent.

The California Air Resources Board claims that the volume of vehicle pollutants pouring into California's air fell by more than 1.3 million kg per day last year, a decline which can otherwise be achieved by taking 3.5 million cars off the road.

But the role of the oxygenates in the