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Atmospheric Pollution.

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Introduction

Atmospheric Pollution Pollution is defined as the contamination of air, water or soil by materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems. Air pollution is the pollution of the atmosphere by emissions from industrial plants, incinerators, internal combustion engines and other sources. Pollutants can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary pollutants are substances directly produced by a process, such as ash from a volcanic eruption or the carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust. Secondary pollutants are not emitted. Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or interact. An important example of a secondary pollutant is ozone-one of the many secondary pollutants that make up photochemical smog. The motor vehicle engine emits many types of pollutants including nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), particulates, sulphur dioxide (SO2) and lead. Listed below are the major air pollutants produced as a result of motor vehicles: Pollutant Sources Effects Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) A corrosive gas that cannot be seen or smelled at low levels but can have a "rotten egg" smell at high levels. Sulphur dioxide mostly comes from the burning of coal or oil in power plants. ...read more.

Middle

If the ozone in the stratosphere is destroyed, people are exposed to more radiation from the sun (ultraviolet radiation). This can lead to skin cancer and eye problems. Higher ultraviolet radiation can also harm plants and animals. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - evaporation of solvents - evaporation of fuels - incomplete combustion of fossil fuels - naturally occurring compounds like terpenes from trees - eye irritation - respiratory irritation - some are carcinogenic - decreased visibility due to blue-brown haze (1) Coal is the world's most abundant fossil fuel. It is a readily combustible rock composed primarily of carbon. Coal is an accumulation of many different complex hydrocarbon compounds. When a fuel burns, it reacts with oxygen to form oxides. If the fuel burns completely, then all the carbon in it is turned into carbon dioxide which is slightly acidic. If there is not much air available, the carbon may be turned into carbon monoxide, which is a very poisonous gas. Some fuels like, coal & coke, contain small amounts of sulphur. When coal is burned the sulphur is released into the atmosphere producing sulphur dioxide. The sulphur dioxide dissolves in water to form an acidic solution containing sulphurous acid. ...read more.

Conclusion

The raw material, sea-water, is made freely from the Firth of Forth and sulphate ions can be dumped at sea without significant change in the pH. Sea-water scrubbing is an environmentally benign way of reducing sulphurous and particulate emissions and it is also currently the cheapest way. It provides a safe way of reducing the overall sulphur burden our use of fossil fuel creates. The most recent arrangement for lowering NOx emissions is gas reburn. In this method, not only is less NOx produced but on the other hand any NOx formed is chemically removed. The boiler furnace consists of three burning zones. In the primary combustion zone, powdered coal is oxidised in less air than normal. This is an unusual process because of the injection of normal gas (mainly methane & ethane) into the boiler just above the flames in the reburning zone. Here the NOx reacts with the alkanes to produce nitrogen, carbon dioxide & water vapour: Summary Over the years, air pollution has become a major global problem causing great concern, both in urban and rural areas. Modernisation and progress have led to air getting more and more polluted over the years. Industries, vehicles, increase in the population, and urbanization are some of the major factors responsible for air pollution. ...read more.

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