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Chapter 16 Study Guide

1. The air around us

- Approx 147 million metric tons of air pollutants are released annually
into the atmosphere in US
o Worldwide emissions = 2 billion metric tons
- Developed countries been improving air quality air quality in
developing countries getting worse
o b/c theyre going through industrial revolution & big
countries invade small developing countries with big
factories = less regulations on pollution
- 16 of smoggiest cities in world are IN china

2. Natural sources of air pollution (non anthropogenic)
- Volcanoes ash and acidic compounds
- Sea spray sulfur compounds
- Vegetation volatile organic compounds
- Dust storms
- Bacterial metabolism = responsible for 2/3 of methane in the air

3. Criteria Pollutants
- Us Clean Act- designated 6 major (conventional & criteria pollutants)
for which max ambient levels are mandated
o Sulfur dioxide
o Nitrogen oxide
o Carbon monoxide
o Ozone
o Particulates (hold pollutants)
o Lead (heave metal used to extract lighter molecules, etc)

4. Sources
- Particulate
o Agriculture, transportation, construction, etc.
- Lead
o Transportation, waste, smelting & processing, other
- Nitrogen oxide
o Power plants, transportation, industry, etc.
- Sulfur dioxide
o Power plants, industry, other
- Carbon monoxide
o Transportation, non road engines, solvent
- Volatile organic compounds
o Solvent, transportation, waste, non road engines
Solvents dissolve solute

5. Anthropogenic
- Primary pollutant: released directly from source
- Secondary pollutant: convertive to a hazardous form after entering
the air & mixing w/ other air component
o Fugitive emissions: do not go through smoke stack
Dust from strip mining, rock crushing, building

6. Sulfur Dioxide
- Predominant anthropogenic
- Fossil fuel combustion (coal & oil)
o Corrosive gs which reacts w/ water vapor in air to cause acid
rain (2/3 of total sulfur influx)

7. Nitrogen Oxide
- Reactive gas formed when nitrogen heated above 650 degrees Celsius
in presence of O2 or oxidized by bacteria
o Further oxidized to give nitrogen reddish brown smog
o Important greenhouse gas
o Combine w/ h2o = nitric acid
o Excess nitrogen causes eutrophication (ecosystem death = too
much nitrogen) of inland h2o & coastal (encourages growth on
non native weeds)
Algae bloom = toxic h2o = dead fish b/c they suffocate
o Humans responsible for 60% of emissions

8. Carbon Monoxide
- Colorless, odorless, toxic gas
- Global warming

9. Ozone
- Stratosphere shields biosphere by absorbing UV ray
- Pollutant in troposphere photochemical oxidant
o Product of secondary atmospheric reactions driven by solar
- Damages vegetation and buildings
10. Lead
- 2/3 of all metallic air pollution
- neurotoxin
- banning lead from gas = most successful pollution
- ban = childrens avg blood levels dropped 90% & avg IQ risen 3pts

11. Other pollutants
- Other toxic metals
o Nickel
o Beryllium
o Cadium
- Halogens
o Fluorine
o Chlorine

Atmospheric Processes

1. Temp inversions
- Temperature inversions: occur when a stable layer of warmer air lies
above cooler air
o Most stable conditions created by rapid nighttime cooling in
valley where air movement is restricted