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1. Smoke and its Control -1

1.1 Introduction -1
1.2 Definition -2
1.3 Sources of Smoke
1.4 Measurement of
Smoke -2
1.4.1 Ringelmann Chart -3
1.4.2 Miniature Smoke Chart -6
1.4.3 Smoke Scope -6
1.5 Smoke, Public Health & Property Damage -7
1.6 Smoke Prevention & Control -7
2. Industrial Plant Location & City planning -8
2.1 Introduction -8
2.2 Factors to be considered for Industrial Plant location -8
2.2.1 Existing Levels of Air contaminants. -9
2.2.2 Potential Effects on the Surrounding area. -9
2.2.3 Meteorological factors and Climate -9
2.2.4 Topographical features - 10
2.2.5 Clean Air Available - 10
2.2.6 Planning & Zoning - 11
2.3 City Planning - 12


1.1 Introduction

Smoke particles are mainly unburnt carbon resulting from incomplete combustion. In
other words, carbon particles, which may smoke are unburnt fuel. Therefore smoking chimneys
are indications of inefficiency in the process of converting fuel into useful energy. Generally, the
sizes of fine particles in smoke will be less than one micron. Coal smokes particle range from
0.01 to 0.2 microns and oil smoke particles from 0.03 to 1.0 microns.

A smoke as we all know is a nuisance. Hence, in the field of air pollution, smoke is considered to
be public enemy. Smoke affects public health and causes property damage, apart from being a
public nuisance is an economic waste, as it is due to incomplete combustion of fuel.

But one interesting and well-known fact is that all fuels can be burnt smokelessly and efficiently.
Therefore, it is surprising that many chimneys emit black smoke.

1.2 Definition
It contains fine particles of the size ranging from 0.01 to 1-micron meter, which can be liquid or
solid and are formed by combustion or other chemical processes. Smoke may have different
colors depending on the nature of materiel burnt.

1.3 Sources of Smoke

Important sources of Smoke are
1. Combustion
• Fuel Burning (Coal, Wood, Fuel Oil)
• Incineration (House and Municipal garbage)
• Others (Open Fires, Forest Fires, Tobacco Smoking)
2. Automobiles
3. Industrial Power Plants
4. Railway Engines
5. Ships
6. Domestic Heating Plants

The amount of smoke given out from the above sources varies considerably. It depends on the
type of fuel and the efficiency of the combustion device.

1.4 Methods of Smoke Measurement

There are many methods for estimating the density of the smoke as it emerges from the stack.
The following are the commonly used methods.

1. Ringelmann Chart
2. Miniature Smoke Chart &
3. Smoke Scope Method

The most commonly used method is the Ringelmann Chart

1.4.1. Ringelmann Chart
The Ringelmann Chart is a scheme where graduated shades of gray vary by five equal
steps between white and black. The chart showing the fig (1) shows four grades of gray, as well
as pure white and an all black section. The details about the width of the black lines, width of
white spaces, and percentage of black is given in table1.1.

Table 1.1: Spacing of lines of Ringelmann Chart

Width of Black Width of White

Ringelmann Chart No. Percent Black
Lines(mm) Spaces(mm)
0 All White 10 0
1 1 9 20
2 2.3 7.7 40
3 3.7 6.3 60
4 5.5 4.5 80
5 All Black - 100

1. The chart should be used under day light conditions and held or fixed
facing the observer in a vertical plane as shown in the fig (1.2).
2. The chart should be preferably in line with the top of the chimney, and
placed so that the chart and the smoke have a similar sky background.
3. The chart should be at a sufficient distance from the observer for the
lines to appear to merge each square forms a uniform shade. Generally this
distance is about 15m.
4. The observer glances at the smoke as it comes out from the chimney, and
notes the number of the chart most closely corresponding with the shade of the
5. Record the above said chart number with the time of observation. A clear
chimney is recorded as number 0, and 100% black smoke as number 5.
6. Observations are repeated at quarter or half-minute intervals.
7. The readings obtained are then reduced to the total equivalent of NO.1
smoke as a standard.
8. The percentage density of the smoke for the entire period of observation
is calculated by the following formula.

Equivalent units of No.1 Smoke * 0.20

Percentage smoke density =
Number of Observations.

The method of using this formula is indicated in table 1.2. In the example illustrated the period of
observations is from 10:00 am to 10:30 am. Observations have been recorded at half-minute
intervals, i.e., 60 observations in half-hour duration.

Table 1.2 : Ringelmann Chart Observations

Location : _________________ Date: ______________

Time : 10am to 10:30 am
Direction of wind : _________________
Velocity of Wind : _________________
Distance of Stack : _________________
Diameter of Stack : _________________

Sl No 0 min ½ min Sl No 0 Min ½ Min

0 - - 15 4 5
1 - - 16 5 5
2 - - 17 5 5
3 - - 18 5 4
4 - - 19 4 3
5 1 1 20 2 1
6 1 1 21 2 2
7 1 1 22 2 2
8 2 2 23 2 2
9 2 2 24 2 2
10 2 3 25 3 3
11 3 3 26 3 3
12 3 3 27 3 3
13 3 4 28 3 4
14 4 4 29 4 4

Calculation of Smoke Density

Observations Equivalent No 1 Units

6 Units of No 5 30
9 Units of No 4 36
14 Units of No 3 52
14 Units of No 2 28
7 Units of No 1 7
10 Units of No 0 0
60 Units 153

Equivalent units of No.1 Smoke * 0.20

Percentage smoke density =
Number of Observations.

= 153 / 120 * 0.20 = 25.5 % ≅ 26 %

Merits and Demerits

1. The Ringelmann Chart is a simple and effective method of estimating

smoke density.
2. Involvement of Human Element in judging smoke shades.
3. Other factors that may effect the results are cloud and wind conditions.
4. It is difficulty to use Ringelmann Chart conveniently in practice.
5. Use of Ringelmann Chart requires the assistance of helper to hold the
chart for the observer.

1.4.2 Miniature Smoke Chart

It is difficulty to use a Ringelmann Chart conveniently in practice. Generally, the Use of

Ringelmann Chart requires the assistance of helper to hold the chart for the observer. Hence, the
necessity for the use of a miniature smokes chart.

The miniature smoke chart shall have the same precision as the Ringelmann Chart. The Miniature
chart is not intended for the use as a substitute for the Ringelmann Chart but the results obtained
are expected to be similar to those from the Ringelmann Chart. The gray shades marked on the
chart correspond to similar shades of the Ringelmann Chart. The chart is held at arm’s length or
preferably at a distance of 1.5m from the observer eye, with the help of a holder while recording

1.4.3 Smoke Scope

Now a days many other devices like photoelectric and photographic devices are also being used
for the measurement smoke density. Even optical methods are being employed. A good example
of an instrument used for estimating smoke density based on the principle of optics is the “
Smoke Scope ”.

A Smoke Scope is an instrument developed by Mine Safety Applicance Company, USA. It is an

optical instrument used for estimating smoke density coming from a stack. It as a several features
which helping maintaining accuracy and reproducibility of observations even though a stack is
viewed from different angle or under different conditions of lighting and background.

While making observations, the stack is viewed through one barrel of the instrument, and the
smoke is observed through an aperture in the center of the screen. Light from the area adjacent to
the stack comes through a second barrel and illuminates a standard density film, which is used for
comparison into the smoke. Consequently, an image of the reference film appears on the screen
surrounding the aperture. This helps in easy comparison with the smoke. Refocusing of high is
not required while making observations because, with the help of a lens, the image of the
reference is made to appear to be at a distance equivalent to the that of the stack. Also, as
illuminations of the smoke and the reference are simultaneously influenced by the same factors,
automatic compensation takes place under different conditions.

1.5 Smoke, Public Health & Property Damage
1. Irritation of the Eye membranes.
2. Irritation of the Respiratory tract.
3. Increase of Nervous and Psychological disorders because of SMOG
4. Increased Morbidity through diminished resistance to disease because of
decrease of sunlight.
5. Smoke causes property damage by Disfigurement of exteriors of
buildings and also their Interiors.
6. Smoke Injures the growth of Vegetation, by coating the leaves with soot
to prevent the process of photosynthesis.
7. Day light hours shortened in a smoky city resulting in economic loss
from extra use of electricity for illumination.
8. Clothing is spoiled and consequently, cleaning and laundry costs are

1.6 Smoke prevention & Control

Following are the some of the methods, which can be adopted for Smoke Prevention and Control.

1. Use of proper combustion equipment (proper design of Furnaces.). this

involves the fulfillment of the following conditions for smoke less combustion of
a) Proper Air-Fuel ratio.
b) Sufficient mixing of Air & Fuel.
c) Sufficient ignition Temperature.
d) Sufficient space to permit time for proper burning.
2. Use of Low volatile fuels such as Bituminous coal and Anthracite coal.
3. Use of Smoke less Fuel. Eg:- Coke
4. Proper Design and maintenance of stacks.
5. Use of particulate control equipment’s like ESP, Scrubbers, Etc.

2. Industrial Plant Location And City Planning

2.1 Introduction.

Till now the factors considered for locating a new industrial plant were the availability of raw
materials, power, water supply, transportation facilities, labors and the market. Now one more
critical factor has to be considered by the plant management, i.e the factor of air pollution control.
in fact, the neglect of this aspect of Air pollution control in the past by many large industries has
proved to be a costly error, for today they are facing very damage claims, litigation and the
necessity of taking control measures after several years of operation.

2.2 Factors to be considered for Industrial – Plant Location.

While selecting a site from the point of Air pollution control, the following factors should be
taken into consideration to avoid costly control measures, improve public relations, and prevent
1. Existing levels of Air contaminants.
2. Potential effects on the surrounding area.
3. Meteorological factors and climate.
4. Topographical features.
5. Clean Air availability.
6. Planning & Zoning.

2.2.1 Existing levels of Air contaminants.

If the new plant is to be located in an area which is already industrialized, it is good practice to
undertake a pre operational survey to know the existing levels of contaminants, under prevailing
meteorological conditions. This type of survey gives an idea regarding the nature of pollution due
to the existing industries, i.e. whether the existing level of pollution is high, medium or low. The
results of such survey, with respect to known operational data on the magnitude of contemplated
emissions from the new sources, would provide information on the extent to reach waste products
could be safely discharged into the atmosphere without resulting in too much contamination.

A preliminary is also useful if the site is to be chosen is located in a rural or sub-urban area. This
is because, the area under consideration may be exposed to exotic pollution (from Distantant
sources). It is important to determine what those concentration levels are in relation to the
proposed scale of operations.

2.2.2 Potential effects on the surrounding area.

It is very important to know the specific effects of the major pollutants likely to be discharged
into the atmosphere in relation to the population and land use of the area surrounding the site, for
eg, whether the pollutants will have any effect on the health of the people, whether it causes
damage to the vegetation, and whether it affects the farm animals in that area, is to be considered.
Incidentally, it is also important from the point of keeping good public relations as any polluting
industry leads to number of public complaints and litigatins.

2.2.3 Meteorological factors and climate.

The prime factors which have to be considered in order to minimize air pollution problems by site
selection are the climate and meteorological of the location under consideration. The important
meteorological parameters that influence air pollution can be classified into primary and
secondary parameters.

Primary parameters are
1. Wind Direction and Speed.
2. Temperature.
3. Atmospheric stability.
4. Mixing height.
Secondary parameters are :
1. Precipitation.
2. Humidity.
3. Solar Radiation.
4. Visibility.
The parameters vary widely a function of latitude, season and topography. The ideal site for
location of industry is level terrain in a region where the average wind speed is of the order of 16
KMPH or more and where temperature inversions rarely occur. Also, it is always better, if a
populated town or agricultural land or monuments (Historical places) or sanctuaries is not on the
downwind of the proposed site.

2.2.4 Topographical features.

Air movement is greatly influenced by the topography in the neighborhood of the site under
consideration, like valleys, mountains and etc. in fact, we have to give more attention to air
pollution control in valley site than in level terrene, especially when the average wind velocity
less than 60 KMPH. If an industrial plant is located at the bottom of the narrow valley with
mountains raising fairly steeply on either side, the situation becomes very critical.

2.2.5 Clean Air availability.

The requirement of many industrial processes for supplies of clean air introduces another
important aspect of air pollution into the problem of site selection. For eg, industries requiring
clean air for manufacture of factories dealing with the manufacture of transistors, electronic
components, antibiotics and vaccines. Also it requires for cooling the reactors of atomic energy
plants, since, if polluted air were used, the impurities present would become radioactive and their
escape into the atmosphere would create a hazard.

2.2.6 Planning & Zoning.

Proper planning and zoning of industrial areas and residential areas can play an important role in
the control of air pollution. Residential areas and certain heavy industries should not be located
too close to each other. It is also better to have a green belt between industrial and residential

Recently scientists have identified a dozen spices of trees which have a capacity to observe
industrial polluteds from the air for eg, it as been reported that Tamarind and Margosa tress are
capable of absorbing dust and gas from atmosphere polluted by cement, chemical industries and

2.3 City Planning

Today we are seeing many cities developing in a very haphazard manner. They are now paying
the price for the failure to plan for future systematic and homogeneous development. Smoke,
dust, fumes, odors, and poor zoning practices have spoiled fine residential areas and created ugly
cites in central parts of some cities.

Few of the basic principles of country planning are

1. it must be flexible, continues, and adopted to the local requirements.
2. While planning, the growth trend in population and industries that may come up in
the near future should be taken into consideration.
3. Residential, commercial and industrial areas must be properly planned.
4. Prime importance must be given for locating sufficient number of public parks and
gardens. And
5. There must be sufficient provision for traffic lanes and parking facilities.

Following are the some of the measures that taken be taken for air pollution control by planning
and zoning.

1. Decentralization of industry.
2. Creation of green belt between industry and receptor areas.
3. Regulation over automobile exhausts.
4. Traffic Control.
5. Prohibiting use of volatile fuels.
6. Creation of smoke less zones in selected areas by limiting industries and residential
in those zones to the use of certain specific smoke less fuels.