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Human activities release a variety of substances into the biosphere, many of which negatively affect the environment. Pollutants discharged into the environment can accumulate in the air, water, or soil......

Air, water and soil

Introduction

Human activities release a variety of substances into the biosphere, many of which negatively affect the environment. Pollutants discharged into the environment can accumulate in the air, water, or soil. Chemicals discharged into the air that have a direct impact on the environment are called primary pollutants . These primary pollutants sometimes react with other chemicals in the air to produce secondary pollutants.

A wide variety of chemicals and organisms are discharged into lakes, rivers and oceans daily. Left untreated, this sewage and industrial waste has a serious impact on the water quality, not only in the immediate area, but also downstream.

Air pollutants

The eight classes of air pollutants are: oxides of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, suspended particulate matter, photochemical oxidants, radioactive substances and hazardous air pollutants. Oxides of carbon include carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon monoxide, a primary pollutant, is mainly produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. It is also present in cigarette smoke. The colorless, odorless gas is poisonous to air-breathing animals. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin, impeding delivery of oxygen to cells. This causes dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, and headaches; at high concentrations it can cause death. Carbon monoxide pollution from automobiles can be reduced through the use of catalytic converters and oxygenated fuels.

Carbon dioxide is produced by the complete combustion of fossil fuels. It is considered a greenhouse gas because it heats up the atmosphere by absorbing infrared radiation. As a result of this characteristic, excess amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may contribute to global warming. Carbon dioxide can also react with water in the atmosphere and produce slightly acidic rain. Carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced by limiting the amount of fossil fuels burned.

Oxides of sulfur include sulfur dioxide (SO2) and sulfur trioxide (SO3). Sulfur oxides are primarily produced by the combustion of coal and oil. Oxides of sulfur have a characteristic rotten egg odor, and inhalation of them can lead to respiratory system damage. They react with atmospheric water to produce sulfuric acid, which precipitates as acid rain or acid fog. Acid rain is a secondary pollutant that acidifies lakes and streams, rendering the water unfit for aquatic life. It also corrodes metals, and dissolves limestone and marble structures. Oxides of sulfur can be removed from industrial smokestack gases by "scrubbing" the emissions, by electrostatically precipitating the sulfur, by filtration, or by combining them with water, thereby producing sulfuric acid which can be used commercially.

Oxides of nitrogen include: nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Nitric oxide is a clear, colorless gas formed during the combustion of fossil fuels. Nitrogen dioxide forms when nitric oxide reacts with atmospheric oxygen; the reddish-brown pungent gas is considered to be a secondary pollutant. Exposure to oxides of nitrogen can cause lung damage, aggravate asthma and bronchitis, and increase susceptibility to the flu and colds. Nitrogen dioxide can combine with atmospheric water to form nitric acid, which is precipitated as acid rain. Nitrogen dioxide is also a key ingredient in the formation of photochemical smog, and nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas. Automobile emissions of these pollutants can be reduced by catalytic converters which convert them to molecular nitrogen and oxygen.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
AMJAD
what is system testing
AMJAD
what is the application of nanotechnology?
Stotaw
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
Azam
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
Prasenjit
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
Azam
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
Prasenjit
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
Damian
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
Damian
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
Azam
Hello
Uday
I'm interested in Nanotube
Uday
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
Prasenjit
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Ap environmental science. OpenStax CNX. Sep 25, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10548/1.2
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