Unit 26
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Unit 26. Environmental Problems associated with the use of fossil fuels. How air pollutants are formed?. By the incomplete combustion of fuels / petrol By the burning of impurities in fuels (such as sulphur dioxide from sulphur impurities.). Test for gases in car exhaust.

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Unit 26

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Unit 26

Unit 26

Environmental Problems associated with the use of fossil fuels


How air pollutants are formed

How air pollutants are formed?

  • By the incomplete combustion of fuels / petrol

  • By the burning of impurities in fuels (such as sulphur dioxide from sulphur impurities.)


Test for gases in car exhaust

Test for gases in car exhaust

  • Test for carbon dioxide

  • Turns lime water milky.

  • Test for carbon monoxide

  • Turns citrated blood cherry red.

  • Test for acidic gases

  • Turns universal indicator red.


Air pollutants from car exhausts

Air pollutants from car exhausts

  • Carbon monoxide – from the incomplete combustion of petrol.

  • Unburnt hydrocarbons – such as benzene, C6H6, which is carcinogenic / causing cancer.

  • Carbon particulates (black smokes) – unburnt carbon particles from the incomplete combustion of fuel

  • Too small to be filtered by the hairs in the nose.

  • Causing serious lung diseases .


Air pollutants from car exhausts1

Air pollutants from car exhausts

  • Nitrogen oxides

  • High temperature in the cylinders of the car engine and electric sparks / lightening (thunderstorm)

  • Oxidation of nitrogen

  • N2(g) + O2(g) 2NO(g)

  • Oxidation of nitrogen oxide by air

  • 2NO(g) + O2(g)  2NO2(g)


Nitrogen oxides

Nitrogen oxides

  • Poisonous gases

  • Irritate and attack respiratory system

  • Dissolving in rainwater to form acid rain.

  • 2NO2(g) + H2O(l) HNO2(aq) + HNO3(aq)


Photochemical smog

Photochemical smog

  • Nitrogen oxides together with unburnt hydrocarbons produce photochemical smog.

  • Smog is poisonous.


Lead compounds

Lead compounds

  • Tetraethyl lead – added to petrol for improving the burning of petrol

  • Lead compounds accumulate in our bodies. They have harmful effects on red blood cells and brain cells.


Pollutants from industry

Pollutants from industry

  • From factories, power stations and incinerators

  • Same as that from car exhausts

  • With one more air pollutant (from the burning of sulphur impurities)

  • Sulphur dioxide


Sulphur dioxide

Sulphur dioxide

  • From the burning of coal or low grade petroleum

  • From the waste gas of incinerators as rubbish (waste paper) contains sulphur compounds as impurities.

  • Irritates the respiratory systems & affects the normal function of lungs

  • Causes cancer and even death.

  • SO2(g) + H2O(l) H2SO3(aq)


Acid rain

Acid rain

  • Is rainwater from non-polluted air acidic?

  • pH 5.6

  • Carbon dioxide dissolves in rainwater to form carbonic acid.

  • CO2(g) + H2O(l) H2CO3(aq)

  • Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide dissolve in rainwater to form acid rain.


Effect of acid rain

Effect of acid rain

  • Harm to water lives

    • Acid rain makes rivers and lakes more acidic. Harmful to water lives and even kills them.

  • Damage to forests

    • Forests seriously damaged by acid rain. Trees are stunted. Leaves drop off and the trees die.


Effect of acid rain1

Effect of acid rain

  • Damage to metalwork

    • Speeding up the rate of corrosion of metals

  • Damage to building materials

    • Acid rain attacks buildings made up of limestone.


Greenhouse effect

Greenhouse effect

  • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere acts like glass of a greenhouse. It allows high energy radiation from the sun to penetrate the atmosphere and warms the Earth’s surface. The high energy radiation is re-radiated as infra-red radiation. However, the infra-red radiation is trapped by the atmosphere (carbon dioxide). The Earth is thus warmed up.


Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases

  • Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons are greenhouse gases.


Ways to reduce the greenhouse effect to reduce carbon dioxide emission

Ways to reduce the greenhouse effect (to reduce carbon dioxide emission)

  • Plant more trees

  • Stop burning fossil fuels

  • Stop cutting down trees.


Methods for reducing air pollution

Methods for reducing air pollution

  • Using unleaded petrol in cars.

    • For reducing the amount of lead compounds in air.


Methods for reducing air pollution1

Methods for reducing air pollution

  • Installing catalytic converter in car exhaust system

  • It is a honeycomb structure.

  • Installed in the exhaust system of cars.

  • On structure, platinum and other transition metal are deposited.


Catalytic converters

Catalytic converters

carbon dioxide (CO2)

nitrogen (N2)

water (H2O)

carbon monoxide (CO)

nitrogen oxides (NOx)

hydrocarbons (HC)

stainless steel case

honeycomb-shaped

support


Shortcoming of catalytic converters

Shortcoming of catalytic converters

  • Solid lead compounds deposit on the surface of catalyst and block the honeycomb.

  • Catalytic converters can only be fitted with motor-cars which are run on unleaded petrol.


How does catalytic converter work

How does catalytic converter work?

  • Nitrogen oxide reacts with carbon monoxide when they pass over the catalyst.

  • 2NO(g) + 2CO(g) N2(g) + 2CO2(g)

  • The carbon monoxide and unburnt hydrocarbons are oxidized in the presence of catalyst to form harmless products.

  • 2CO(g) + O2(g)  2CO2(g)

  • 2C8H18(l) + 25O2(g) 16CO2(g) + 18H2O(l)


Using scrubbers in power stations

Using scrubbers in power stations

  • Removing up to 95% of carbon dioxide.

  • Two methods of scrubbing

    • Dry scrubbing

    • Wet scrubbing


Dry scrubbing

Dry scrubbing

  • Powdered limestone (CaCO3) is blown into the combustion chamber where it decomposes.

  • CaCO3(S) CaO(s) + CO2(g)

  • The calcium oxide reacts with sulphur dioxide to form calcium sulphite.

  • CaO(s) + SO2(g)  CaSO3(s)

  • These products are washed away as a slurry – a mixture of solids and water.


Using scrubbers in power stations1

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Using scrubbers in power stations


Wet scrubbing

Wet scrubbing

  • Sulphur dioxide is removed by the action of calcium oxide and water (I.e., calcium hydroxide solution).

  • CaO(s) + H2O(l) Ca(OH)2(aq)

  • Ca(OH)2(aq) + SO2(g)  CaSO3(s)+ H2O(l)


By the electrostatic precipitators in industry

By the electrostatic precipitators in industry

  • Removes 99% of the particulates.


Electrostatic precipitators

Electrostatic precipitators

  • Dirty gases pass through a strong electric field.

  • The particles become charged.

  • The charged particles are then collected on plates of opposite charge.


Role of governemnt

Role of Governemnt

  • Legislation

  • Monitoring and investigating

  • planning


Oil splliage

Oil splliage

  • Petroleum is toxic and flammable.

  • Pollutes beaches and spoils recreation resorts.

  • Blocks the oxygen supply of water lives.

  • Clogs the feathers of birds and prevents them from flying abd swimming.

  • Poisoned sea birds and fishes.


Cleaning up oil spillage

Cleaning up oil spillage

  • Using detergents to emulsify the oil.


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