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In this essay I will be writing about problems of emissions from power stations and other pollutants, which cause problems such as photochemical smog and tropospheric ozone.

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Chemistry open book essay - Atmospheric pollution In this essay I will be writing about problems of emissions from power stations and other pollutants, which cause problems such as photochemical smog and tropospheric ozone. Primary pollutants are released straight into the atmosphere around us. An example of this is fuels released from power stations. Secondary pollutants are formed when primary pollutants react forming other chemicals. Examples of these are 03 and NO2. The table bellow shows the main primary and secondary pollutants produced from motor vehicles: Primary pollutants Secondary pollutants Hydrocarbons Ozone (formed by nitrogen oxides reacting with hydrocarbons in sunlight and high temperatures) Nitrogen oxides (NOX) NO2 Carbon monoxide (CO) H2O2 Partially oxidised hydrocarbons HNO3 (Ref 1) Primary pollutants are formed in the burning of fossil fuels in power stations. Many of the primary pollutants are already contained in the fuel burnt in the power stations, such as nitrogen oxides in fossil fuels. This means that when they are burnt at a high temperature such as in power stations they are released. ...read more.


To gain large amounts different reactions occur. This can include the splitting of NO2 to form NO + O which leaves a single oxygen free to form O3 as in the above reaction. Bellow shows the reaction using NO2 to form O: NO2 + sunlight NO + O Ozone can also be formed through VOC's (Volatile organic compounds) such as hydrocarbons, which are released from things such as car exhausts: NOx + VOC + sunlight O3 (and other products) (Ref 4) At Longannet coal firepower station, things are done to try to reduce the emissions of sulphur and nitrogen oxides. To reduce sulphur emissions they use a process called seawater scrubbing. This is done by passing gases emitted from the power station through seawater. As the water is slightly alkaline the sulphur dioxide dissolves in the solution forming sulphur ions. The water has air passed through it, which oxidises the sulphite to more harmless sulphide: S03 + O SO4 This used sea water is then returned back to the sea. ...read more.


+ 4NO(g) 2N2 (g) + CO2 (g) +2H20(g) In the next and final zone air is added meaning any alkanes and CO are oxidised. This is shown in the diagram bellow: In addition this also helps the generation of electricity, as the oxidation of natural gas is exothermic meaning heat is given out which contributes to the furnace temperature. I think this process was chosen due to the fact it is considerably better at reducing emissions as it produces less NOX and any that is formed is chemically removed. It also doesn't cause any other large amounts of damage to the environment, which again makes it the BPEO for NOX emission reduction. Chemists have played a large part in the reduction of photochemical smog formation. They have researched into measuring rates of reactions under different conditions meaning they can make predictions about pollution. They have also done large scale simulations involving producing huge smog chambers up to 1500 m3 in size to see the effects of pollution. This is a very important area of research as it can help us see what we need to do to reduce pollution on the earth. ...read more.

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