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Use of hydrocarbons as fuels - Essay Example

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The industry process plays a vital role in today’s global economy, and people’s economic welfare, while supplying consumer materials. However, it equally contributes a lot to environmental…
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Download file to see previous pages The early man’s industries included mining and smelting of ores, and a later transition from Stone Age to Metal Age. This resulted to not only wastage, but also potential spread of carbon monoxide, toxic elements of mercury, and lead among others. However, with Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, the introduction of the steam engine saw the industrial growth due to possible transportation of industrial goods hence more pollution due to higher industrial demands (Khopkar 2004 p.16). These industries pollute the environment through sulfur dioxide, dioxin, and other toxic substances. The pollutants are in form of liquid, gas, and other solid forms that seriously damage the bio system. Air pollution is inevitable within the industrial process although industrial ecology aims at harmonizing the industrial sector and the biosphere as a solution to this growing problem.
The chemistry involved in this industrial process includes production of emissions like SO2, Nitrogen Oxides, and particulate emissions. Sulfur dioxide a content of fuel gases is one-quarter depending on the fuel. A coal-fired power plant produces 2.5million of fuel gas per hour if its output is 700MW, and emits 2.5 tons of sulfur per hour. However, the sulfur emissions are lower in industrial sources compared to power plants and occur where heating reactors use sulfur fuels. Oxidation of dust and soot particles with heavy metals due to presence of water droplets can result to acid smog that has deleterious effects on respiratory system. During combustion of nitric acids, the combustion process forms nitrogen oxides that are common air pollutants. Once Nitrogen oxide and the molecular oxygen or other radicals oxidate they form nitrogen dioxide. A good example is the use of sulfuric acid that contains nitrous elements during super phosphate production, because the process emits over 50% of nitrogen oxide gases.
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