June 11, 2009

Pollution and pollutants remove process

Pollutants that enter the air can be removed in several different ways.

Particulates:Particulates are very small pieces of solids, mainly carbon, that are released into the air during incomplete combustion. Since they are solids, they will stick to other solid materials that they come into contact with.
Sulfur dioxide:Sulfur dioxide is formed when fuels containing sulfur compounds are burned. Sulfur dioxide reacts with water and oxygen in the air to produce acid rain. This removes sulfur dioxide from the air, but the acid rain corrodes buildings and kills plants.
Nitrogen dioxide:Nitrogen dioxide also reacts with water and oxygen in the air to produce acid rain.
Carbon dioxide:Carbon dioxide is produced by burning fossil fuels, such as like coal, oil, petrol and natural gas.

Plants remove some of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, because they use it in photosynthesis. Here is the word equation for photosynthesis:

carbon dioxide + water → glucose + oxygen

This process uses energy from sunlight. The energy has been absorbed into the plant by the green pigment chlorophyll.

Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere when it dissolves in both rain water and sea water. As a result rain water becomes slightly acidic, and the oceans are a huge reservoir of dissolved carbon dioxide.

Not all the carbon dioxide we produce is removed from the atmosphere. The level of CO2 is steadily increasing, and this contributes to global warming.

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