Pollution Information

Acid Rain...

Hydrocarbon fuels such as coal and oil contain Sulfur. When burned, Sulfur Dioxide is produced.

S + O2 ---> SO2


SO2 + H2O (from rain) + oxidation in air ---> H2SO4 (sulfuric acid rain).


In engines and power plant furnaces where temperatures are high, Nitrogen and Oxygen from the atmosphere combine to make Oxides of Nitrogen, NOx

N2 + O2 ---> NO2 (brown poisonous gas seen in LA Smog)


NO2 + H2O (from rain) + oxidation in air ---> HNO3 (Nitric acid rain).


From the combustion of carbon in hydrocarbons we get Carbon Dioxide

C + O2 ---> CO2


CO2 + H2O (rain) ---> H2CO3 (Carbonic acid rain is weak acid).


CO2 is a "greenhouse" gas. Too much CO2 will cause global warming by the "greenhouse" effect. (Infra-red from Sun passes through the "greenhouse" gases, heats the earth, and traps in the heat). Big danger to climate! If the glaciers melt, sea level will rise 100 meters! Bye bye major cities of the world!


Results of acid rain: Death to plants and animals. Corrosion and dissolving of structures (eg. stone monuments, cathedrals, etc.)


OZONE Pollution...

Hydrocarbons from fuel + NOx and sunlight UV give poisonous ozone pollution in cities. Bad for health!

Ozone Layer destruction. Twenty-five Km up in the atmosphere, is the Ozone Layer. It is produced by the Sun’s intense Ultra-Violet rays changing Oxygen into Ozone (an allotrope). 3O2 + UV ---> 2O3. This absorbs most of the deadly UV rays so that we survive below. CFC’s destroy the ozone layer and let more UV through. Hence more skin cancer and eventually death to plants & animals. Frogs are in trouble now as their eggs are killed by UV.