After conducting tests, the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has confirmed in its report that oil companies and refineries were using chemicals to increase the quality of petrol that were consequently damaging engines.
Auto giant Honda Atlas filed a complaint to OGRA back in 2017, accusing fuel companies of adulterated petrol that was affecting its cars’ engines. The company told OGRA that oil manufacturing companies were adding ‘manganese’ to increase the Research Octane Number (RON) to meet OGRA’s standards.
According to Honda, addition of manganese is causing three major issues namely catalyst blocking or chocking of the catalytic converter, engine knock due to low octane quality fuels and adverse human health effects of manganese.
Following the accusation, around a dozen oil marketing companies and refineries threatened Honda Pakistan to withdraw its complaint about the alleged sale of low-quality fuel in the market or face legal action.
Now, it seems like Honda’s claims were valid as test reports conducted on oil samples have been made public. The reports show that oil importers and refineries are using chemicals to increase the quality of petrol.
The tests were carried out by OGRA and Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) which showed an excessive presence of chemicals in petrol.
In the report, the content and amount of chemicals have been deemed harmful to vehicles, environment and as well as human health. The report further states that chemicals are being used by importers and oil companies to increase the RON value at a low cost.
ProPakistani quoting OGRA and HDIP reported that they found the following chemicals after conducting tests on petrol samples with RON value of 90 and 92:
Manganese: 63.31 parts per million (ppm) to 315.5 ppm.
Iron: 6.2 to 35.1 ppm.
Manganese in imported petrol: 1.62 ppm.
Iron in imported petrol: 63.88 ppm.
The report shows that in order to increase RON number, companies were using MMT and Ferrocene. These chemicals cause the catalytic converter to choke after reacting with it. These metallic particles are also harmful for the environment and human health.
The complaint was filed by Honda after the company halted the booking of the latest variant of Honda City. The company claimed that fuel was causing engine knocking and sensor failure in Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo. Hascol petroleum also supported Honda’s claims.