New And Precise Rewriting Work — Air Pollution
Answer each of the following questions in 150 to 200 words using the textbooks, the University Library, or other resources.
Ozone– Ground level or bad ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the presence of sunlight. Emissions from industrial facilities and electric utilities, motor vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapor and chemical solvents are some of the major sources of NOx and VOC. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, particularly for children, the elderly and people of all ages who have lung diseases like asthma. Ground level ozone can also have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation and ecosystems. Ozone also affects sensitive vegetation and ecosystems, including forest, parks, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas. In particular, ozone harms sensitive vegetation, including trees such as black cherry, quaking aspen, ponderosa pine and cottonwood. These trees are found in many area of the country. Ground level ozone can have harmful effects on sensitive vegetation and ecosystem. When sufficient ozone enters the leaves of plant it can interfere with the ability of sensitive plants to produce and store food. It can visibly damage the leaves and other plants, harming the appearance of vegetation in urban areas, national parks and recreation areas.
Particulate Matter-Particulate matter knows as particle pollution or PM is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of extremely small particles and liquid droplet. Particle pollution is made of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemical, metals and soil or dust particles. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. EPA groups particle pollution into two categories. Inhalable coarse particles such as those found near roadways and dusty industries are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter. Fine particles such as those found in smoke and haze are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles in the air. Carbon Monoxide-is a colorless, odorless gas emitted form combustion process. Nationally and particularly in urban areas the majority of CO emissions to ambient air come from mobile source. CO can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body’s organs, like the heart and brain and tissues. AT extremely high levels, CO can cause death. EPA first set air quality standards for CO in 1971. For protection of both public health and welfare, EPA first set air quality standards (for public welfare) due to a lack of evidence of adverse effects on public welfare at or near ambient concentrations. Carbon monoxide is different than most pollutants. It can persist in the atmosphere for about a month and can be transported long distance. It is not uniformly distributed around the earth. Although carbon monoxide is only a week greenhouse gas its influence on climate goes beyond its own direct effects. Its presence affects concentrations of other greenhouse gases including methane, tropospheric ozone and carbon dioxide. Like pollutants, carbon monoxide has both anthropogenic and natural sources. Natural sources include volcanoes and forest fires while human resources, which make up over half of all carbon monoxide produced, are mainly vehicle emissions and slash and burn agriculture but also include some industrial activities.
1. Explain how thermal inversions contribute to increased pollution concentration. Temperature inversions layers also called thermal inversions or just inversions layers are areas where the normal decreased in air temperature with increasing altitude is reversed and air above the ground is warmer than the air below it. Inversion layers can occur anywhere form close to ground level up to thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Inversion layers are significant to meteorology because they block atmospheric flow which causes the air over an area experiencing an inversion to become stable. This can result in various types of weather patterns. Areas with heavy pollution are prone to unhealthy air and an increase in smog when an inversion is present because they trap pollutants at ground level instead of circulating them away.
1. Explain how catalytic converters, Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards, and ethanol reduced air polluting emissions from vehicles. Catalytic converters– turn harmful chemicals in vehicle exhaust into harmless gases such as stem. Pollutant gases are made of harmful molecules but those molecules are made relatively harmless atoms. If we could find a way of splitting up the molecules after they leave a car’s engine and before they get pumped out into the air, we could solve the issue with pollution. A catalyst is simply a chemical that makes a chemical reaction go faster without itself changing in the process. It’s a bit like an athletics coach who stands by the side of the track and shouts at the runner to go faster. The coach doesn’t run anywhere, he just stands there, waves his arms about and makes the runners speed up. In a catalytic converter, the arms about job are to speed up the removal of pollution. In catalytic converter the catalyst’s job is to speed up the removal of pollution. The catalyst is made from platinum or a similar, platinum like metal such as palladium or rhodium. A catalytic converter is a large metal box, bolted to the underside of your car that has two pipes coming out of it. One of them is connected to the engine and brings in hot, polluted fumes form the engines cylinders. The second pipe is connected to the tailpipe. As gases from the engine fumes blow over the catalyst, chemical reactions take place on its surface breaking apart the pollutant gases and converting them into other gases that are safe enough to blow harmlessly out into the air.Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards-First enacted by Congress in 1975 the purpose of CAFÉ is to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuels economy of cars and light trucks. NHTSA has recently set standards to increase CAFÉ levels rapidly over the next several years which will improve our nation’s energy security and save consumer money at the pump. Standards for medium and heavy duty vehicles would improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution to reduce the impacts of climate change, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The proposed standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1 billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. These reductions are nearly equal to the greenhouse gas emissions with energy used by all U.S. residences in one year. Ethanol reduced air polluting emissions from vehicles – When blended with gasoline for use as a vehicle fuel, ethanol can offer some emissions benefits over gasoline, depending on vehicle type, engine calibration and blend level. As with conventional fuels, the use and storage of ethanol blends can result in emissions of regulated pollutants, toxic chemical and greenhouse gases (GHG’s). Using ethanol as a vehicle fuel has measurable GHG emissions benefits compared with using gasoline. Carbon dioxide (CO2) released when ethanol is used in vehicles is offset by the CO2 captured when crops used to make the ethanol are grown. As a result, FFVs running on ethanol produce less net CO2 than conventional vehicles per mile traveled.
1. Identify the two major pollutants that contribute to acid rain. What are the effects of acid rain on buildings, plants, and aquatic systems? How have the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and the Air Quality Accord helped reduce acid deposition?Acid rain is cause by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere where they mix and react with water, oxygen and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants, known as acid rain. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide dissolve very easily in water and can be carried very far by wind. Nature depends on balance and although some rain is naturally acidic, with a pH level of around 5.0, human activities have made it worse. Normal precipitation like rain, sleet or snow reacts with alkaline chemicals or non- acidic materials that can be found in air, soil, bedrock, lakes, and streams. These reactions usually neutralize natural’s natural acids. However if precipitation becomes too acidic these materials may not be able to neutralize all of the acids. Over time these neutralizing materials can be washed away by acid rain. Damage to crops, trees, lakes, rivers and animals can result. National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, minimum efficiency standards remove inefficient products from the market allowing all consumers to benefit from the advances in product performance and design. NAECA called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to review established standards periodically and upgrade the standards where technical feasible and economically justified. Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990-The initial phase of EPA’S Acid Rain program went into effect in 1195. The law required the highest emitting units at 110 power plants in 21 Midwest, Appalachian and Northeastern states to reduce emissions of SO2. The second phase of the program went into effect in 2000, further reducing SO2 emissions from big coal burning power plants. Total SO2 release for the nation’s power plants are permanently limited to the level set by the 1990 Clean Air Act about 50 percent of the levels emitted in 1980.
1. Explain why stratospheric ozone is important while ground-level ozone is considered a pollutant. What is the role of CFCs in stratospheric ozone depletion? What was the worldwide reaction once the connection between CFCs and ozone depletion was well understood? Ozone is found in two regions of the Earth’s atmosphere at ground level and in the upper regions of the atmosphere. Both types of ozone has the same chemical composition, while upper atmospheric ozone protects the earth from the sun’s harmful rays, ground level ozone is the main component of smog. Tropospheric or ground level ozone is not emitted directly into the air but is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Ozone is likely to reach unhealthy levels on hot sunny days in urban environments. Ozone can also be transported long distance by wind. High ozone concentrations have also been observed in cold months where few high elevation areas in the Western U.S. with high levels of local VOC and NOx emissions have formed ozonewhen snow is on the ground and temperatures are near or below freezing. Ozone contributes to what we typically experience as smog or haze which still occurs most frequently in the summertime but can occur throughout the year in some southern and mountain regions.CFCs were invented in the United States and have many uses throughout the world in refrigeration, air conditioning and other industrial processes. Due to scientific evidence that CFCs and other chemical destroy ozone’s in the upper atmosphere the United States, the country which has traditionally been the largest emitter of CFCs worldwide is rapidly scaling back the use of these chemicals and phasing out their production. The ozone layer in the stratosphere protects life on earth from exposure to dangerous levels of ultraviolet light. It does so by filtering out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. When CFCs and other ozone degrading chemicals are emitted, they mix with the atmosphere and eventually rise to the stratosphere. There the chlorine and the bromine they contain catalyze the destruction of ozone. This destruction is occurring at more rapid rate than ozone can be created through natural processes. The degradation of the ozone layer leads to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth’s surface. This in turn can lead to a greater incidence of skin cancer, cataracts and impaired immune systems and is expected also to reduce crop yield, diminish the productivity of the oceans and possibly to contribute to the decline of amphibious populations that is occurring around the world.
1. Explain the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy resources. Choose a nonrenewable energy resource and explain economic and environmental costs and benefits to using this resource. Choose a renewable energy resource and explain economic and environmental costs and benefits of using this resource.Renewable energy sources are ones which do not run out, which can be renewed. We can keep using them and using them and will never run out. Non-renewable energy sources are ones that do run out. As we use them to generate energy, they get used up and cannot be used for a second time. There are three main non renewable energy sources which are running out fast. They are coal, oil and natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel and is a highly efficient form of energy. It is composed chiefly of methane; the simple chemical composition of natural gas is a molecule of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4). When methane is burned completely, the principal products of combustion are carbon dioxide and water vapor. Natural gas’s advantage over other fuels is that it has fewer impurities, it is less chemically complex and its combustion generally results in less pollution. In most application, using natural gas produces less of the following substances than oil or coal: carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the primary greenhouse gas; sulfur dioxide, which is the primary precursor of acid rain; nitrogen oxide, which is the primary precursor of smog;and particulate matter, which can affect health and visibility than oil or coal. Technological progress allows cleaner energy production than ever for all fuels, although the inherent cleanliness of gas means that environmental controls on gas equipment, if required, then to be far less expensive than those other. The sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity without toxic pollution or global warming emissions. The potential environment impacts associated with solar power, land use and habitat loss, water use and the use of hazardous materials in manufacturing can vary greatly depending on the technology which includes tow broad categories: photovoltaic (PV) solar cells or concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP).Each source of renewable energy has unique benefits and cost. Wind, solar and hydroelectric systems generate electricity with no association air pollution emissions. While geothermal and biomass energy systems emit some air pollutants, total air emissions are generally much lower than those of coal and natural gas fired power plants. Wind and solar energy requires essentially no water to operate and do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems or other important water needs.