Nov 13, 2012

Vietnam - Researchers announce 3 possible causes of vehicle fires

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A group of researchers have pointed out three causes of the vehicle fires and explosions that have occurred recently in many different provinces and cities. The causes include short circuits, fuel and motorbike usage.

These researchers announced the initial results of their independent study on this issue at a seminar held by the Ministry of Science and Technology with other relevant agencies yesterday.

The study is chaired by the Vietnam Register, with the aid of the Laboratory of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Hanoi Technology University and University of Transport. The duration of the study is from June 2012 to November 2013.

According to the study, the recent fires and vehicle explosions can be the result of the three following causes.

Firstly, fires can be caused by technical systems, including the electrical, fuel transmission, cooling and exhaust discharging systems. This conclusion has matched the investigative data on the motorbike and car fires collected at 52 repair and maintenance centers nationwide.

Secondly, fires can also be caused by fuels and additives used for the vehicles. Such fuels can be poorly blended for illegitimate profit by adding unacceptable additives to petrol or by mixing high quality diesel with diesel containing a high content of sulfur.

In some cases,poor quality petrol, such as A83 or naphtha condensate, can be mixed with other substances to make them similar to higher quality petrol, like A92 and A95. In some other cases, diesel 0.05% Sulphur (500 ppm) was blended with diesel 0.25% Sulphur (2,500 ppm), researchers said.

Abusing additives in preparation of fuel is a factor that contributes to vehicle fires, said Dr Vu Thi Thu Ha, from the laboratory of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. She also confirmed that additives that are supposed to help save fuel have not actually done so.

Finally, fires can be caused by drivers who have incorrectly used their vehicles in ways including poor maintenance, changing technical structures, adding unsuitable additives to fuel, etc.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said the information released at the seminar was only preliminary and the study will continue in order to identify the exact cause(s) of the problem.

Trinh Ngoc Giao, head of the Vietnam Register, also said the researchers would continue their tests to come to a comprehensive and scientific conclusion about the causes of the fires and explosions affecting motorbikes and cars.


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