Low quality gasoline is one of the main reasons that caused many motorbikes and cars caught on fires last few years in Vietnam, local Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Thursday, quoting investigation results by related authorities in southern Ho Chi Minh City.
According to the report, the investigation, conducted by scientists from the Refinery and Petrochemical Technology Research Center and HCM City University of Technology, revealed that there are three main causes for the incidents, of which poor quality fuel is the chief cause.
Poor quality fuel, including fuel that is improperly blended with low-quality additives such as methanol and ethanol, can lead to petrol leakage caused by damaged ducts or high gas pressure, or by human error.
When flammable materials catch fire, the main cause is sub- standard gasoline with a low-octane index such as petrol A82 or petrol that is improperly blended with poor quality methanol or ethanol.
This is incompatible with the motorbike's engine, creating a source of heat and a higher risk of motorbike fires.
If motorbikes use petrol with a low-octane index or petrol blended with poor quality methanol or ethanol, the temperature of some components or areas on the motorbike could increase by 10 to 20 degrees Celsius, said the research.
The research team recommended relevant authorities to check on the presence of methanol and ethanol in petrol, issue a ban on the sale of petrol A83 with a low-octane index, among other measures.
According to the Vietnam Ministry of Public Security, 324 motorbike and automobile fires occurred in the country in the last two years.
So far this year, there were 59 motorbike and 56 automobile fires, costing a loss of about 20 billion Vietnamese dong (some 96 million U.S. dollars). Electric leakage, distraction of the owners, technical problems and traffic accidents were blamed to those fires.
Copyright 2012 Xinhua News Agency.
(Originally published May 17, 2012, by Xinhua General News Service.)