Petrol and the environment

If you drive a petrol-engined vehicle, there is an environmental impact – but it can be reduced.

Want a more ecologically sound car? may be able to help.

Willing to reduce your carbon footprint by car-sharing? is worth reading.

Use an alternative fuel source- find out more about different fuel types here.

Above all, use our fuel saving tips to reduce your petrol consumption.


Watch your emissions

If you want to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, you have to start by measuring them. Where cars are concerned, that means using CO2Count – for a minimal cost, you can see exactly where you stand.

Environmental Bonus: CO2Count is endorsed by Cool Earth – and every CO2Count Certificate issued means a donation that goes straight to the front line, protecting threatened rainforests.


Learn about your emissions

Most vehicles use a combustion engine to provide motive power. In use, within a combustion engine, chemical reactions take place between the hydrocarbons of the fossil fuel, the fuel additives and the gases that naturally occur in the atmosphere.

These processes include oxidation of the fuel, which produces carbon dioxide CO2 and carbon monoxide CO. Nitrogen from the air is also oxidised to nitrogen oxides NOx. Partially burnt and unburned fuel is present in the exhaust gases forming a complex cocktail of hydrocarbons (HCs) such as methane (CH4) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene and 1,3-butadiene.

Particulate matter PM is also produced and is especially prevalent in diesel exhaust. Some pollutants are also produced away from the vehicle – for example, ground-level (tropospheric) ozone O3 is formed by the chemical action of sunlight on emitted VOCs.