CNG run vehicles were hailed as being environment-friendly, but it has become more of a case of choosing a lesser evil. A recent study by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research(CSIR) has revealed that CNG or compressed natural gas can produce nanoparticles as exhaust that are carcinogenic for humans and poise threats of cancer.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is composed mainly of methane that is liquefied at high pressure and has been known to produce less harmful exhaust gases as compared to other fuels such as petrol, diesel or LPG. It is lighter than air and spreads faster when dispersed.

However, recent studies by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has questioned the notion that CNG is eco-friendly and has led to a lot of confusion since CNG is being aggressively promoted as an eco-friendly fuel.

Dr. MO Garg, CSIE’s Director General said that the latest study by the institution can change the belief that CNG is a cleaner alternative to other fossil fuel. CNG vehicles do not produce any smoke unlike smoke emitted by diesel-run vehicles.

Garg went on to say that people do not realize that what they see (Exhaust from diesel vehicles) could be less harmful than the invisible exhaust coming from a CNG vehicle.

The study was very small, and the sample limited in Delhi, CSIR is not taking the study lightly owing to the health hazard it poses to humans. It has alerted the central government for further follow up.

Garg gave details of his study and said that he had partnered a Professor of Alberta University and developed a device that can measure and analyze particles emitted by vehicles. The device was installed on DTC buses, and the exhaust was examined. The device revealed that natural gas combustion produced nano carbon particles which when inhaled could enter your bloodstream and pose a health hazard.

Garg added that these nanoparticles are rich in polynuclear aromatic and have large surfaces and are highly carcinogenic.