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Charles E. Ophardt, Professor of Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL 60126, charleso@elmhurst.edu, Copyright 2004

TOPIC 8: THE ATMOSPHERE AND AIR POLLUTION

ON-LINE Lecture Discussion Requirement:

Do one question from the QUES 1-8. Use the assigned Student ID Numbers

 Questions  Ques. 1  Ques. 2  Ques. 3  Ques. 4  Ques. 5
 Student ID  7, 13, 21  23, 8, 6  14, 24, 12  9, 15, 25, 10, 16, 26, 22  1, 17, 27
 Questions  Ques. 6  Ques. 7  Ques. 8  Ques. 9 .
 Student ID  2, 18, 28, 11  3, 19, 29  4, 20, 30, 5    

Second question do QUES 9.

A third question may be to respond or comment to someone else, or use General Questions to ask a general question the Prof or others might answer.

Check answers already completed in
Blackboard - Discussion Pages

Write out answers to questions in a WORD PROCESSOR
and then copy and paste into
Blackboard

Requirements for the Lecture On-Line Discussion
Method to list references and citations.

1. Structure and composition of the atmosphere (Text Chap. 11)

 A. Troposphere and Stratosphere (ozone layer)

Text p. 323-24

 B. Composition

Text p. 324-25

Molecule graphics: oxygen , nitrogen , argon , carbon dioxide, water vapor (also review p. p.124, 217)

 C. Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon Cycles

Text p. 43-47

 (review p. 316, 317, 381-82
ProfO Notes:
Carbon Cycle
ProfO Notes: Nitrogen Cycle
 D. Weather, climate, and prevailing winds, temperature inversions  Text p. 339

QUES. 1: Review the composition of the atmosphere. What gases are present? Amounts? Where did the gases come from?  Text p. 324-25 and links above
 QUES. 2: Review the layers (such as troposphere, stratosphere, etc) found in the atmosphere. Characteristics, properties, molecules present.  Text p. 323-24 and links above

 QUES. 3: Use the Carbon Cycle and some specific chemical reactions to explain how planting more trees would help the global warming problem, while deforestation caused by "slash and burn" timber industries and subsistence farmers will make the problem worse.

 ProfO Notes: Carbon Cycle


2. Types and sources of air pollutants (p. 326-338)
 A. Six major air pollutants  (Brief introduction) - more details in Topic 8
Atmospheric Pollutants - good list with brief descriptions of each
 carbon monoxide  Carbon Monoxide
 sulfur oxides Sulfur Dioxide
 nitrogen oxides  Nitrogen oxides
 Volatile organic compounds (VOC)  VOC
 ozone in the troposphere  No Room to Breathe: Photochemical Smog and Ground-Level Ozone - A brief Review.
 suspended particles  Suspended Particles
 Smog  What is Smog?
Donora Killer Smog of 1948
 B. Stationary Sources: Electric Power Plants, metal smelters, metal finishing
Sulfur oxides and particulates - industrial smog

 QUES. 4: In the above outline section 2, a number of molecules and compounds in the atmosphere are mentioned. List the word equations and/or word descriptions for the formation of ONE of the following: ozone, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, VOC's. Also list the major natural and/or man-made source of the molecule. Each student pick one not already done.

(See Sections 1-3 above and some are listed in text p. 320-328).

ozone in the troposphere
carbon dioxide
carbon monoxide
nitrogen oxides
sulfur oxides
VOC's.


3. Acid Rain Text p. 193-196, 332-334

 A. Acid and Bases, pH

(Text p. 181-192)

ProfONotes: Acids & Bases
ProfONotes: pH of Acid Rain

 B. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides reacting with water to make acids

(Text p. 195, 332-33)

ProfONotes: Comprehensive Acid Rain
What is Acid Rain?
Acid Rain FAQs
ProfO Notes: Formation of nitrogen oxides graphic
ProfO Notes: Nitric Acid Rain graphic
Acid Rain Effects Index - EPA
Acid Rain Map of the U.S. 2005 pH
Sulfur Dioxide Reductions 1980-2000
Trends in Sulfate Depositions - 1989-2000
Trends in Nitrate Depositions - 1989-2000
Map of Ecologically Sensitive Areas

 C. Health effects - animal and plant life, human health

Text p. 194, 333

 Acid Rain Effects Index - EPA

 D. Effects of Acid Rain on Buildings

Text p. 195

 Acid Rain and Buildings -USGS

QUES. 5: List the definitions, characteristics, pH ranges, and examples of both: acids and bases. Give a couple of examples of each. Each student pick one.  (Text p. 181-192)
ProfONotes:
Acids & Bases
ProfONotes: pH of Acid Rain
 QUES. 6: Write the chemical equations and/or word descriptions to show how the following gases make acids: Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, and Sulfur Dioxide (use as model). Calcium oxide plus water makes a base , calcium hydroxide. Each student pick one.

 (Text p. 333)

ProfONotes: Comprehensive Acid Rain
ProfO Notes: Carbonic Acid
ProfO Notes:
Nitric Acid
ProfO Notes:
Sulfurous Acid
ProfO Notes:
Sulfuric Acid

QUES. 7: What are the environmental effects of Acid Rain? Any direct health effects? Try to distinguish between sulfur oxides as gases effects vs. acid rain itself. (Text p. 194-95, 333)

 D. Possible control measures of Acid Rain

Text p. 334

Overview of the EPA Acid Rain Program
Sulfur Dioxide Trading Allowance System
Progress Mapping of Results - Look to bottom of page
Progress Report - 10 years - 2004
NOTES: U.S. Air Pollution Legislation in the Clear Air Acts o 1970, 1977, and 1990: Air pollution can be controlled by laws to establish desired standards and by mandating the technology to achieve the standards. This is sometimes referred to as the " command and control law" approach and was the established procedure prior to 1990. The EPA set a specific standard of how much of a specific pollutant would be allowed and then mandated the best available technology to achieve this standard.
In the 1990 Clear Air Act a new approach is being used to use market forces to allow companies to decide what approach is best for them. Each year the EPA sets a certain total amount of sulfur dioxide that may be emitted. Each company is given the " rights" to emit a certain amount of sulfur dioxide. These rights may be bought and sold from other companies and allows the company to decide for itself when to build new, improve, or phase out existing facilities.

 QUES. 8: For each of the three pollution control measures (immediately right), list the air pollutant(s) that is to be controlled and one or two sentences indicating how it is controlled. Each student pick one. 1. Automobile Catalytic Converter (text p. 331-32)
Converter - Howstuff works
Catalytic Converter -

Coal Electric Power Plants - p. 334
2. sulfur dioxide scrubbers,
3. electrostatic precipitators or bag filters,

QUES. 9: Review the three web sites on the EPA Sulfur Dioxide Trading System. Explain any further details of the system. Is this a valid, good approach to controlling air pollution (YES) or is there something inherently or ethically wrong with a plan that says in effect that it is OK to emit a certain amount of pollution? (NO) Overview of the EPA Acid Rain Program
Sulfur Dioxide Trading Allowance System
Progress Report - 10 years - 2004


Sulfur Dioxide Reductions 1980-2000