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Air Pollution: Reasearch Report

2105 words - 9 pages

Air pollution is made up of various kinds of gases, and particles that reduce the quality of the air. Plants and animals and their habitats can also be harmed by air pollution. Air pollution has thinned the protective ozone layer above Earth. It can damage buildings, monuments, statues, and other structures. Air pollution can also result in haze, which reduces visibility and can sometimes interfere with aviation.The most abundant of air pollutants are Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and Sulfur Oxides. These chemicals are the waste byproducts of fuels that are used in transportation, industrial processes and general combustion. Contrary to the beliefs of many people, air pollution does not ...view middle of the document...

Centuries later in 1157, Eleanor, Henry II's wife, left her home in Nottingham, England because the pollution caused by burning wood was "unbearable." In the 1300s England began to use coal instead of wood for heat, causing major air pollution problems. To clean up London's air, King Edward I, outlawed coal burning exclaiming, "...whosoever shall be found guilty of burning coal shall suffer the loss of his head." The problems of poor urban air quality even as early as the end of the 16th century has also been well documented. But air pollution of the past has mainly been from industrial processes and or the burning of fuels.Emissions That Contribute Towards Air PollutionPrimary pollutants emitted directly to the atmosphere, including nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can be a major cause of poor air quality. Primary pollutants emitted directly to the atmosphere, including nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can be a major cause of poor air qualityGlobally, the quantities of nitrogen oxides that are produced naturally (by bacterial and volcanic action and lightning) far outweigh man-made emissions. Man-made emissions are mainly due to fossil fuel combustion from both stationary sources, for example power generation (24%), and mobile sources, such as transportation vehicles (49%). Other atmospheric contributions come from non-combustion processes, for example nitric acid manufacture, welding processes and the use of explosives.The most important sources of sulphur dioxide are fossil fuel combustion, smelting, manufacture of sulphuric acid, conversion of wood pulp to paper, incineration of refuse and production of elemental sulphur. Coal burning is the single largest man-made source of sulphur dioxide accounting for about 50% of annual global emissions, with oil burning accounting for a further 25-30%.When fuel is burnt efficiently, the major byproducts from this are carbon dioxide and water. Carbon monoxide is commonly emitted from idling and slow-moving road vehicles; such as during traffic. Up to three-quarters of all carbon monoxide emissions are from road transportation. Smaller amounts of contributions come from various processes that involve the combustion of organic matter, for example in power stations and waste incineration.Particulate matter; meaning matter that is minute in size, is emitted from a wide variety of sources, the most significant primary sources are road transport (25%), non-combustion processes (24%), industrial combustion plants and processes (17%), commercial and residential combustion (16%) and public power generation (15%). Natural Sources are less noted; these are from volcanoes, lightning and dust storms. Particulate matter can also be formed by the transformation of gaseous emissions such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen, and VOC'sEmissions from Mobile SourcesThe main...

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