Smog-blanketed sky in Bangkok on Jan. 20, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Ministry of Energy on Tuesday suggested motorists to use biodiesel B10 and B20 to curb aggravating smog that is currently gripping the country.

“By using biodiesel B10 and B20, we all can help reduce smog by 3.5 to 25 percent,” said the ministry’s Department of Energy Business.

“Biodiesel could effectively relieve the air pollution because emission from vehicles cause 70 percent of (particulate matter) PM2.5,” said Nantika Thangsuphanich, director-general of the department. “B10 could cut PM2.5 by 3.5 to 13.5 percent and B20 could cut PM2.5 by 20 to 25 percent.”

The consumption of B10 and B20 helps reduce PM2.5 and supports palm growers. In 2020 it will consume about 2 to 2.2 million tons of crude palm oil; that is two-thirds of all yields and help increase the price of raw palm nuts by at least 4 baht per kilogram, Nantika said.

Nantika also said that six Thai oil refineries will invest 50 billion baht (1.64 billion U.S. dollars) to improve the quality standard of their products from Euro 4 to Euro 5.

The improvement is required to be completed before Jan 1, 2024 to reduce smog.

Nantika also said that oil consumption this year would increase by 2 percent from last year to 132 million liters a day.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration reported Monday that smog levels have worsened in Bangkok with high pollution readings in 34 out of Bangkok’s 50 districts, ranging from 50 to 89 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

The Thai government set a safe threshold is 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air.