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Air Section #1: What Causes Air Pollution. Air Pollution when harmful substances build up in the air to unhealthy levels these harmful substances can.

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Presentation on theme: "Air Section #1: What Causes Air Pollution. Air Pollution when harmful substances build up in the air to unhealthy levels these harmful substances can."— Presentation transcript:

1 Air Section #1: What Causes Air Pollution

2 Air Pollution when harmful substances build up in the air to unhealthy levels these harmful substances can be in the form of a solid, liquid, or gas most pollution is from human activities, but some comes from natural sources

3 Natural Sources of Air Pollution volcanoes – spew clouds of particles (ash) & gases (sulfur dioxide) dust (think about the dust kicked up from plowing a field) pollen & spores (growing season) salt from sea spray

4 Primary Pollutants pollutant that is put directly into the air by a human activity Example = soot from smoke (burning wood, industries, vehicles, etc.) main sources of primary pollutants = electricity, industry, & transportation

5 Sources of Primary Pollution in the U.S. per day

6 Other Primary Air Pollutants carbon monoxide nitrogen oxide sulfur dioxide chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds) particulate matter (PM)

7 Sources of Air Pollutants vehicle exhaust emissions coal-burning power plants refineries metal smelters burning fuels mining operations incinerators wood-burning fireplaces fields & roads

8 VOCs from a Refinery

9 Secondary Pollutants when a primary pollutant comes in contact with other primary pollutants or with naturally occurring substances (like H 2 O vapor) and a chemical reaction takes place

10 Secondary Pollutants an example of a secondary pollutant is ground level ozone that forms when car & truck emissions react with the UV rays of the sun & then mix with O 2 in the atmosphere

11 History of Air Pollution not a new phenomenon – occurs whenever something is burned there are records from 2000 years ago from a Roman philosopher complaining about the foul air in Rome in 1273, England’s King Edward I ordered the hanging of a citizen for disobeying the “clean air act” when he illegally burned a very dirty kind of coal called sea-coal

12 Motor Vehicle Emissions almost 1/3 of our air pollution comes from gasoline burned by vehicles the EPA started regulating emissions in 1980 required the gradual elimination of lead from gasoline & the addition of catalytic converters to tailpipes to clean exhaust gases of pollutants

13 Catalytic Converter

14 A Car’s Contribution of Air Pollution car seats can be covered in a plastic that contains a VOC called vinyl chloride steel smelters send 1000s of metric tons of SO 2 into the atmosphere to produce the body & frame VOCs escape into the atmosphere whenever you fill the tank with gasoline

15 A Car’s Contribution of Air Pollution exhaust is a major source of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, & hydrocarbons in some developing countries, exhaust can also contain poisonous substances each car releases 4.5 metric tons of CO 2 each year

16 California - Zero Emission Program established in 1990 vehicles that have no tailpipe emissions, no emissions from gasoline, & no emissions from control systems by 2016, 16% of all vehicles (including SUVs, trucks, etc.) must be zero- emission vehicles

17 Zero-Emission Vehicles include electric cars & vehicles with advanced battery power vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel also includes partial zero-emission vehicles like hybrid-electric cars & cars with methanol fuel cells programs have been adopted by Maine, Massachusetts, New York, & Vermont

18 Industrial Air Pollution industries & power plants burn fossil fuels to get the energy they need this releases huge quantities of SO 2 & NO into the air they also produce VOCs that form toxic fumes

19 Industries Producing VOCs oil refineries chemical manufacturing plants furniture refinishers automobile repair shops dry cleaners

20 VOC Emissions from Dry Cleaning

21 Regulating Industrial Pollution Clean Air Act requires many industries to use scrubbers or other pollution- control devices scrubbers remove some of the more harmful substances electrostatic precipitators are machines used in cement factories & coal-burning power plants to remove dust particles from smokestacks

22 The scrubber machine moves gases through a spray of water that dissolves many pollutants like ammonia

23 Electrostatic Precipitators gas containing dust particles is blown through a chamber containing an electrical current an electrical charge is transferred to the dust particles, causing them to stick to each other & the sides of the chamber

24 Smog when air pollution hangs over urban areas & reduces visibility results from chemical reactions that involve sunlight, air, automobile exhaust, & ozone affected cities include, LA, Denver, & Phoenix

25 How Smog Forms over Major Cities

26 Temperature Inversions air circulation usually keeps air pollution from reaching dangerous levels in the atmosphere as the suns warms the earth and the warm air rises up, it carries pollutants away from the ground sometimes though, pollution is trapped close to the surface with a temperature inversion

27 Temperature Inversions during an inversion, the temperatures of the air above are warmer than the air below this keeps the cooler air at the surface from moving upwards, thus trapping pollutants with the cooler air below chances increase when a city is in a valley & surrounded by mountains

28 Major Sources of Groundwater Pollution


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