The price difference between different fuels is the main reason behind the adulteration. Gasoline carries a much higher tax than diesel, which in turn is taxed more than kerosene.
Fake products in India are not only widely spread in the market but it has reached your fuel tank too. In the last three-and-a-half years, a total of 4,375 cases of fuel adulteration have been registered in the country, out of which 33 retail outlets have already been permanently shut down, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas, reveals in a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha. While adulteration in fuel damages the vehicle, it becomes more dangerous because it generates significant health hazards too. Adulterated petrol and diesel emit dangerous levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and can cause increased emissions of air toxic substances.
Such fuel can also produce carcinogenic pollutants, which can lead to cancer. Even when the government has made strict laws against adulteration of fuel, it still causes a loss of around Rs 10,000 crore annually in India. “The Central Government has issued the Motor Spirit and High-Speed Diesel Order, 2005 under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 which provides for punitive action against malpractices such as adulteration of petroleum products,” Dharmendra Pradhan added.
The price difference between different fuels is the main reason behind the adulteration. Gasoline carries a much higher tax than diesel, which in turn is taxed more than kerosene. Industrial solvents and recycled lubricants are other materials with little or no tax, which makes it lucrative to add as an adulterant. Naphtha is a commonly used adulterant for gasoline, which is imported in a large quantity and is diverted for adulteration.
Another major adulterant is kerosene, however, adulterating gasoline with kerosene causes an increase in emissions, as kerosene is more difficult to burn than gasoline and this results in higher levels of HC, CO, and PM.