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In the 1950's it became apparent that there was a mixture of smoke and fog in the air which used to generally hang around industrial areas, this was called 'smog'.

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Open Book Chemistry Paper In the 1950's it became apparent that there was a mixture of smoke and fog in the air which used to generally hang around industrial areas, this was called 'smog'. This smog consisted of sticky soot and tar particles which had the chemical properties of sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid. Todays 'smog' is much different to that of the 1950's as it mostly happens in the summer compared to the winter. They now call it photochemical smog which are less visible and are highly oxidising. This photochemical smog has primary pollutants and secondary pollutants. Primary pollutants (oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds created from fossil fuel combustion) interact under the influence of sunlight to produce a mixture of hundreds of different and hazardous chemicals known as secondary pollutants. A good example of primary pollutants is the combustion of fuels in cars and power stations. Secondary pollutants are the result of when primary pollutants carry on reacting. ...read more.


Early morning traffic increases the emissions of both nitrogen oxides and VOCs as people drive to work. Later in the morning, traffic dies down and the nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds begin to be react forming nitrogen dioxide, increasing its concentration. As the sunlight becomes more intense later in the day, nitrogen dioxide is broken down and its by-products form increasing concentrations of ozone. As the sun goes down, the production of ozone is halted. The ozone that remains in the atmosphere is then consumed by several different reactions. 3. Several meteorological factors can influence the formation of photochemical smog. These conditions include: * Precipitation can alleviate photochemical smog as the pollutants are washed out of the atmosphere with the rainfall. * Winds can blow photochemical smog away replacing it with fresh air. However, problems may arise in distant areas that receive the pollution. * Temperature inversions can enhance the severity of a photochemical smog episode. ...read more.


The advantages of this power station using this method though is that the station is positioned of the Firth of Forth bank where it would have unlimited sea water. This process is done when the gases are passed through sea water (pH 7.5).The sulphur dioxide starts to dissolve in the sea water to become sulphite ions. This sulphite to become less harmful to the environment to which it will be released will have to be aerated. As a result of Longannet power station using this method it has become one of the cleanest stations in the UK. The part played by chemists in the research on photochemical smog was and is great. If this research wasn't done there wouldn't have been any action taken. This increasing awareness of our human activities has now led to national importance and has then led onto world summits on this topic. Sources I have used: Books: Salters Advanced Chemistry Understanding Chemistry for Advanced Level Ted Lister, Janet Renshaw A level Chemistry. E.N.Ramsden; Stanley Thornes Website (For the diagrams): http://www.mtsu.edu/~nchong/Smog-Atm1.htm Iain Grieve ...read more.

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