You are on page 1of 9


The mixing of unwanted and undesirable substances into our surroundings that cause
undesirable effects on both living and non living things is known as pollution.

Air pollution is defined as the addition of unwanted and undesirable things to our
atmosphere that have harmful effect upon our planned life.

Major sources of Air pollution:

1. Automotive Engines
2. Electrical power generating stations
3. Industrial and domestic fuel consumption
4. Refuse burning of industrial processing, wastes etc.,

Sources of Pollutants from Gasoline Engine:

There are four possible sources of atmospheric pollution from a petrol engine powered
vehicle. They are
1. Fuel Tank
2. Carburettor
3. Crank case
4. Engine

The amount of pollutants contributed by the above mentioned sources are as follows.
a.. Fuel tank evaporative loss 5 to 10 % of HC
b. Carburettor evaporative loss 5 % of HC
c. Crank case blow by 20 to 35 % of HC
d. Tail Pipe exhaust 50 to 60 % of HC and
almost all Co and NOx
Emittant as a Pollutant:
An emittant is said to be a pollutant when it has some harmful effect upon our
The primary source of energy for our automotive vehicles is crude oil from underground
which typically contains varying amounts of sulphur. Much of the sulphur is removed during
refining of automotive fuels. Thus the final fuel is hydrocarbon with only a small amount of
sulphur. If we neglect sulphur and consider complete combustion, only water and carbon dioxide
would appear in the exhaust.
Water is not generally considered undesirable and therefore it is not considered as a
pollutant. Likewise carbon dioxide is also not considered as pollutant in earlier days. But due to
increase in global warming due to CO2 which is a green house gas, now a days CO2 is also
considered as unwanted one.
Then apart from this we get sulphur dioxide a pollutant which is a product of complete
combustion. Apart from this all the compounds currently considered as pollutants are the result
of imperfect or incomplete combustion.

Pollutants Pollutant Effects

Unburned Hydro Carbons (UBHC) Photochemical Smog
Nitric Oxide Toxic , Photochemical Smog
Carbon monoxide Toxic
Lead compounds Toxic

Smoke combines with fog and forms a dense invisible layer in the atmosphere which is
known as Smog. The effect of Smog is that it reduces visibility.

Effect of Pollutants on Environment:

a. Unburned Hydro Carbons ( UBHC ):
The major sources of UBHC in an automobile are the engine exhaust, evaporative losses
from fuel system, blow by loss and scavenging in case of 2-stroke petrol engines.
Unburned or partially burned hydrocarbons in gaseous form combine with oxides of
nitrogen in the presence of sunlight to form photochemical smog.
UBHC + NOx  Photochemical smog
The products of photochemical smog cause watering and burning of the eyes and affect
the respiratory system, especially when the respiratory system is marginal for other reasons.
Some of the high molecular weight aromatic hydrocarbons have been shown to be
carcinogenic in animals. Some of the unburned hydrocarbons also serve as particulate matter in

b. Carbon monoxide:
Carbon monoxide is formed during combustion in engine only when there is insufficient
supply of air. The main source is the engine exhaust.
The toxicity of carbon monoxide is well known. The hemoglobin the human blood which
carries oxygen to various parts of the body has great affinity towards carbon monoxide than for
oxygen. When a human is exposed to an atmosphere containing carbon monoxide, the oxygen
carrying capacity of the blood is reduced and results in the formation of carboxy hemoglobin.
Due to this the human is subjected to various ill effects and ultimately leads to death.
The toxic effects of carbon monoxide are dependent both on time and concentration as
shown in the diagram.

c. Oxides of Nitrogen ( NOx ) :

Oxides of nitrogen ( NO, NO2 , N2O2 etc) are formed at higher combustion temperature
present in engines and the engine exhaust is the major source.
Like carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen also tend to settle on the hemoglobin in blood.
Their most undesirable effect is their tendency to join with moisture in the lungs to form dilute
nitric acid. Because the amounts formed are minute and dilute, their effect is very small but over
a long period of time cam be cumulatively undesirable, especially when the respiratory problems
for other reasons are found.
Another effect is that, the oxides of nitrogen are also one of the essential component for
the formation of photochemical smog.
d. Sulphur dioxide:
Sulphur dioxide from automotive vehicle is very less when compared to that emitted by
burning coal. Sulphur dioxide combines with moisture in atmosphere and forms sulphuric acid at
higher temperatures. This comes to the earth as acid rain.
Much of the sulphur dioxide combines with other materials in the atmosphere and forms
sulphates which ultimately form particulate matter.
e. Particulates:
Particulate matter comes from hydrocarbons, lead additives and sulphur dioxide. If lead is
used with the fuel to control combustion almost 70% of the lead is airborne with the exhaust
gasses. In that 30% of the particulates rapidly settle to the ground while remaining remains in the
atmosphere. Lead is well known toxic compound.
Lead particulates when inhaled or taken along with food leads to respiratory problems and other
infections. Particulates when settle on the ground they spoil the nature of the object on which
they are settling. Lead, a particulate is a slow poison and ultimately leads to death.
Effects on Environment:
Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic
components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or
dry forms. This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.
Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the
atmosphere and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water,
oxygen and other chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These then mix with water and
other materials before falling to the ground.
While a small portion of the SO2 and NOX that cause acid rain is from natural sources such as
volcanoes, most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels. The major sources of SO2 and
NOX in the atmosphere are:
 Burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Two thirds of SO2 and one fourth of
NOX in the atmosphere come from electric power generators.
 Vehicles and heavy equipment.
 Manufacturing, oil refineries and other industries.
Winds can blow SO2 and NOX over long distances and across borders making acid rain a
problem for everyone and not just those who live close to these sources.
2NO2 + H2O → HNO2 + HNO3

SO3 + H2O → H2SO4

The Environmental Effects of Acid Rain includes the follows:

 Affecting plant and aquatic life and ecosystem by damaging the parts of the plant and
corroding the plant while making the water acidic leading to damage in aquatic life
making it unfit for survival.
 Corroding Metal and Concrete Structures leading to instability in structure thereby
causing damage.
 Affects vegetation by polluting the soil making it acidic in nature.
 Acid rain does not directly affect human health. The acid in the rainwater is too dilute to
have direct adverse effects. However, the particulates responsible for acid rain (sulfur
dioxide and nitrogen oxides) do have an adverse effect. Increased amounts of fine
particulate matter in the air do contribute to heart and lung problems
including asthma and bronchitis.
 Acid rain can damage buildings, historic monuments, and statues, especially those made
of rocks, such as limestone and marble, that contain large amounts of calcium carbonate.
Acids in the rain react with the calcium compounds in the stones to create gypsum, which
then flakes off.
CaCO3 (s) + H2SO4 (aq) → CaSO4 (s) + CO2 (g) + H2O (l)
 The effects of this are commonly seen on old gravestones, where acid rain can cause the
inscriptions to become completely illegible. Acid rain also increases the corrosion rate of
metals, in particular iron, steel, copper and bronze.


The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet's atmosphere warms the
planet's surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere.
If a planet's atmosphere contains radiatively active gases (i.e., greenhouse gases) they will radiate
energy in all directions. Part of this radiation is directed towards the surface, warming it. The
intensity of the downward radiation – that is, the strength of the greenhouse effect – will depend
on the atmosphere's temperature and on the amount of greenhouse gases that the atmosphere
contains. Earth’s natural greenhouse effect is critical to supporting life. Human activities, mainly
the burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests, have strengthened the greenhouse effect and
caused global warming. The term "greenhouse effect" arose from a faulty analogy with the effect
of sunlight passing through glass and warming a greenhouse. The way a greenhouse retains heat
is fundamentally different, as a greenhouse works mostly by reducing airflow so that warm air is
kept inside. The major green house gases are as follows:
 Water vapor, 36–70%
 Carbon dioxide, 9–26%
 Methane, 4–9%
 Ozone, 3–7%

The step by step procedure of green house effect is given in the following diagram:

Global warming is the current increase in temperature of the Earth's surface (both land and
water) as well as its atmosphere. Average temperatures around the world have risen by 0.75°C
(1.4°F) over the last 100 years about two thirds of this increase has occurred since 1975. In the
past, when the Earth experienced increases in temperature it was the result of natural causes but
today it is being caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere produced by
human activities. The natural greenhouse effect maintains the Earth's temperature at a safe level
making it possible for humans and many other life forms to exist. However, since the Industrial
Revolution human activities have significantly enhanced the greenhouse effect causing the
Earth's average temperature to rise by almost 1°C. This is creating the global warming we see
today. To put this increase in perspective it is important to understand that during the last ice age,
a period of massive climate change, the average temperature change around the globe was only
about 5°C. Global warming is affecting many places around the world. It is accelerating the
melting of ice sheets, permafrost and glaciers which is causing average sea levels to rise.
The cause of global warming is the increasing quantity of greenhouse gases in the our
atmosphere produced by human activities, like the burning of fossil fuels or deforestation. These
activities produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions which is causing global warming.
The natural greenhouse effect exists due to the balance of the major types of greenhouse gases.
However, when abnormally high levels of these gases accumulate in the air, more heat starts
getting trapped and lead to the enhancement of the greenhouse effect. Human-caused emissions
have been increasing greenhouse levels which is raising worldwide temperatures and driving
global warming.
The effects of global warming are as follows:
 Desertification
 Increased Melting of Snow and Ice
 Sea Level Rise
 Stronger Hurricanes and Cyclones
 Change in Climatic Conditions


There are two conditions under which emissions from engines are different. These are
steady-state operations and transient operation. An engine operation under constant speed
and load conditions after fully warmed up is steady state operation. Under this operation
there are no changes to the temperature and pressure conditions for the gases used. An
engine is said to be in a transient state when there are changes to the temperature and
pressure conditions for the gases used and engine has not yet reached a steady state.


The transients that are imposed by the operator or control system to respond to changes in
speed/load are short term transients like acceleration or deceleration in engine speed or
the change of load on the engine. They occur continuously during operation and may
range from less than 1 to 20 seconds.
The transients that occur when a major change of temperature takes place in the engine
are long term transients like warm up period after a cold start or the cooling down (hot
soak) period after operation. A typical value for long term, transient might be about 8
minutes from cold to a well warmed up condition.
The control of emissions during steady state operations can be achieved by appropriate
control techniques. However, it is difficult to have control over pollutants during the
transient operations of engines.

S.NO Operating HC CO NOx

1 Acceleration

2 Deceleration

3 Heavy Load

4 Light Load

5 Idling

6 Warm Up


Regulated emissions are substances that have regulatory limits for their maximum levels
in engine exhaust emissions. These legal limits are typically defined by
emission regulations for new engines and/or vehicles. Unregulated emissions are
substances with no regulatory limits in engine exhaust.