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AIR POLLUTION

CHEMISTRY

ATMOSPHERE
Pure air is described as a mixture of
the following gases:
78.0% N2, 20.1% O2, 0.9% Ar, 0.03%
CO2, 0.002% Ne, 0.005% He plus
other gases. Such pure air does not
exist but it serves as a reference for
clean air.

Atmospheric pressure (millibars)


0 200 400 600 800 1,000
120
75
Temperature
110
Pressure
65
Thermosphere
100

80
70

55
Heating via ozone
Mesosphere 45

60

35

50
40
30

Stratosphere

25

Altitude (miles)

Altitude (kilometers)

90

Highlights:
Pressure decreases
with altitude until it
reaches zero
Troposphere is the
layer we live in;
mostly N and O;
weather; colder as
you go up
Stratosphere: has the
ozone layer; warmer
as you go up

15
Ozone
layer
20
Heating from the earth
Troposphere
10
5
Environmental science
Pressure = 1,000
0
0
40 80 120 millibars
at
(Sea 80 40
focuses
mostly on
Temperature (C)
ground level
Level)

those two layers

ATMOSPHERE
Stratospheric ozone absorbs 95%
of UV radiation
3O2 + UV 2 O3
Tropospheric ozone is harmful to
plants, animals, and humans.
Tropospheric ozone is made when air
pollutants undergo chemical
reactions because of UV exposure.

ATMOSPHERE
The oxygen atom generated from the
initial reaction reacts with
atmospheric, diatomic oxygen, to
form ozone.
This polluting ozone of the
lithosphere, traps heat and
contributes to thermal inversion.

O O2 O3

Smog
Photochemical: brown air smog
Caused by UV reacting with
chemicals (NOx, VOCs in the
atmosphere) Found in modern cities,
especially in warm, sunny areas.
Industrial smog: gray air smog
Caused by burning of fossil fuels,
adds sulfur to air. Rare in developed
countries now as soot is removed by

PHOTOCHEMICAL SMOG
Nitrogen oxide is an essential
ingredient of photochemical smog
that is produced during the high
temperatures associated with
combustion of vehicles engines.

N 2 O2 Energy 2 NO

How is it that toxins, from


thousands of miles away
can enter an ecosystem
that previously had no trace
of these pollutants?

Recent studies show that Inuits


have some of the worlds
highest levels of toxic chemicals
in their bodies. The discovery of
toxic pollutants in the food
supply has put 155,000 Inuits
on the brink of a public health
disaster.

Grasshopper Effect
In a phenomenon
scientists call the
grasshopper effect,
toxic pollutants
released thousands of
miles to the south
evaporate in the
warm climate. They
then ride the winds
until they reach the
cold air of the Arctic,
where they

ACID RAIN
The pH of rainwater is normally
slightly acidic, at about 5.6, due
mainly to reaction of carbon dioxide
with water to form carbonic acid.

CO2 H 2O H 2CO3
SO2 H 2O H 2 SO3
SO3 H 2O H 2 SO4

2 NO2 H 2O HNO3 HNO2

Wind
Transformation to
sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
and nitric acid (HNO3)

Nitric oxide (NO)

Acid fog

Windborne ammonia gas


and particles of cultivated soil
partially neutralize acids and
form dry sulfate and nitrate salts

Sulfur dioxide (SO2)


and NO

Dry acid
deposition
(sulfur dioxide
gas and particles
of sulfate and
nitrate salts)

Wet acid deposition


(droplets of H2SO4 and
HNO3 dissolved in rain
and snow)

Farm
Ocean

Lakes in
deep soil
high in limestone
are buffered

Acid Rain formation

Lakes in shallow
soil low in
limestone
become
acidic

Wind

X
Z

Y
Farm
Ocean

Which location does sulfuric


& nitric acids transform?

Wind

Transformation to
sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
and nitric acid (HNO3)

Y
Farm
Ocean

Identify the type of acid


deposition at point Y

Wind

X
Z
Dry acid
deposition
Farm
Ocean

Identify the type of acid


deposition at point Z

Wind

X
Wet acid deposition

Y
Farm
Ocean

PRECIPITATION!

Temperature Inversion
Increasing altitude

Warmer air
Inversion layer

Cool layer

Mountain

Mountain
Valley

Decreasing temperature

Traps pollutants near surface. Mountains prevent


wind in area and shadow sun to keep lower air cool.

Temperature Inversion
Increasing altitude

Descending warm air mass


Inversion layer
Sea breeze

Mountain
range

Decreasing temperature

Traps pollutants near surface. Mountains prevent


pollutants leaving. Sea breeze blows in, not out.

AIR POLLUTION
AIR POLLUTION means the presence in
the outdoor atmosphere of one or more
contaminants
in
quantities
with
characteristics and of durations such as
to be injurious to human , plant, animal
life and property or which unreasonably
interfere
with
the
comfortable
enjoyment of life and property.
Engineers Joint Council (USA)

AIR POLLUTION
METHODS OF IDENTIFYING AIR
POLLUTION:
Sensory recognition
Physical measurement of
pollution
Effects on plants, animals and
buildings

Identification Methods
1. Sensory Recognition
-

Strong unusual odors


Reduction in visibility
Eye irritation
Acid taste in the mouth
Feel of grit under foot

* Very subjective and vary


from individual to individual

Identification Methods
2. Physical Measurement
- testing/ detection of trace
quantities of many air-borne toxic
substances

3. Effects on Plants, Buildings,


Animals
- observation on the growth of plants
and health of animals
- deleterious effects on buildings

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