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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


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

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
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
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian 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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