Chapter 6 - Air Pollution 1

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    Air Pollution: Origin, Fate and Effects of Pollutants

  • Air Pollution

  • Learning Objectives:

    At the end of this topic the students should be able to;

    recognize the importance of monitoring and control of air pollution

    implement the various rules and regulations implement the various rules and regulations stipulated in the EQA 127 pertaining to the monitoring and control of air pollution

    apply the air pollution standards to monitor and control air pollution

    understand the impact of emission on the environment and human health

  • Air Pollution



    Global Global





  • Air Pollution and Public Opinion Problems in many European urban areas

    in late 1800s and early 1900 due to coal use

    1000s of deaths attributed to air pollution episodes in London episodes in London

    large number of pollution sources

    restricted air volume

    failure to recognize problem

    water droplets of certain size

    Photochemical smog: CO+NOx+HC+light

  • Air Pollution Standards

    Criteria pollutants

    Primary standards designed to protect human health with an adequate margin of safety.of safety.

    Secondary standards are intended to prevent environmental and property damage.

  • A primary pollutant is an air pollutant emitted directly from a source.

    A secondary pollutant is not directly emitted as such, but forms when other pollutants (primary pollutants) react in the atmosphere.

    Examples of a secondary pollutant include ozone, which is formed when hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) combine in the presence of sunlight; NO2, which is formed as NO combines with oxygen in the air; and acid rain, which is formed when sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxides react with water.

  • Air Pollution Standards



    The Environmental Quality Act 1974 sets standards for emission sourcessets standards for emission sources

    The EQA controls pollution through :


    Regulations, order, guidelines


    (AMMENDMENT 2001)

    Control of Industrial Emissions

    Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Regulations 1978

    Environmental Quality (Compounding of Offences) Rules 1978;

    Control of Motor Vehicle Emissions

    Motor Vehicles (Control of Smoke & Gas Motor Vehicles (Control of Smoke & Gas Emission) Rules 1977

    Environmental Quality (Control of Lead Concentration in Motor Gasoline) Regulations 1985

    Environmental Quality (Control of Emission From Diesel Engines) Regulation 1996

    Environmental Quality (Control of Emission From Petrol Engines) Regulation 1996

  • Malaysian Air Pollution Index (API)

    The ambient air quality measurement in Malaysia is described in terms of Air Pollutant Index (API). The API is developed in easily understood ranges of values as a means of reporting the quality of air instead of using the reporting the quality of air instead of using the actual concentration of air pollutants. This index also reflects its effect on human health ranging from good to hazardous and also can be categorized according to the action criteria as stipulated in the National Haze Action Plan

  • Malaysia : API The air pollutant index scale and terms used in describing the air quality levels are

    as follows :


    Section 29A EQA (Amendment 1998)Section 29AA EQA (Amendment 2001) Environmental Quality (Prescribed

    Activities)(Open Burning) Order, 20002000

    Environmental Quality (Delegation of Powers)(Investigation of Open Burning) Order, 2000

    Environmental Quality (Compounding of Offences)(Open Burning) Rules, 2000



    No person shall allow or cause open burning on any premises

    Maximum fine RM 500,000 Maximum fine RM 500,000

    Maximum jail term 5 years

    Or Both

  • Malaysia : Ambient Air Quality Standard

    Six criteria pollutants, namely Carbon Monoxide , Nitrogen Dioxide, Ozone, Sulphur Dioxide and Particulate Matter (PM10) were monitored continuously at 52 locations while lead concentrations was measured once in every six days at two locations.

    The ambient air quality standard in Malaysia addressed in terms of major pollutants including ground level ozone,

    The ambient air quality standard in Malaysia addressed in terms of major pollutants including ground level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, total suspended particulate (TSP), particulate matter below 10 microns (PM10), and lead. The averaging time, which varies from 1 to 24 hours for the different air pollutants in the MAAQS, represents the period of time over which measurements is monitored and reported for the assessment of human health impacts of specific air pollutants.

  • Malaysian Ambient Air Quality Guideline

  • Malaysia Unhealthy Days

  • Malaysia Air Quality Status

  • Malaysia Air Quality Status

  • Malaysia Air Quality Status

  • Control of Criteria Air Pollutants

    A geographic area that meets or does better than the primary standard is called an attainment area; areas that don't meet the primary standard are called nonattainment areas.are called nonattainment areas.

    Although EPA has been regulating criteria air pollutants since the 1970 CAA was passed, many urban areas are classified as nonattainment for at least one criteria air pollutant. It has been estimated that about 90 million Americans live in nonattainment areas.

  • Air Pollutants & Sources

    Carbon Monoxide

    produced by the incomplete

    burning of carbon-

    containing fuels, such as

    petrol, coal and wood.


    produced by the reaction of

    oxygen gas with free atoms of

    oxygen which are formed from

    the reactions between nitrogen

    oxides and hydrocarbons in


    produced by petrol- or

    diesel-burning engines and

    coal/oil furnaces.

    Nitrogen oxides

    Major Air


    Text in hereproduced by burning of fossil fuels (e.g. fuel oil and

    coil). A large proportion is

    produced by power stations

    and metal smelters which

    burn sulphur-containing

    coal, and also by the

    manufacturing industries

    which burn fuel oil.

    petrol, coal and wood.


    produced by refuse

    incineration, factories, diesel

    vehicles, construction sites,

    and coal/charcoal burners.

    Particulates are solid or

    liquid particles which are so

    small that they remain

    suspended in the air for a

    long period of time.



    Sulphur dioxide

    formed from the

    evaporation of materials

    such as petrol, diesel and

    solvents when exposed to


  • Carbon Monoxide

    Most abundant air pollutant

    Produced by incomplete combustion

    insufficient O2 insufficient O2 low temperature

    short residence time

    poor mixing

    Major source (~ 77%) is motor vehicle exhaust

  • Carbon Monoxide

    Colorless and odorless

    When inhaled, binds to hemoglobin in blood to form carboxyhemoglobin, reducing the oxygen carrying capacityreducing the oxygen carrying capacity

    brain function reduced, heart rate increased at lower levels

    asphyxiation occurs at higher levels

  • Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon Monoxide Typical Levels

    busy roadways: 5 50 ppm

    congested highways: up to 100 ppm

    bars: up to 30 ppm

    Vehicle emission rates: Vehicle emission rates:

    Model year Hydrocarbons





    Precontrol (before 1968) 6.59 52.2

    1996-2003 0.155 2.11

    2004-2006 0.0777 1.06

  • Malaysia : CO

  • Carbon Monoxide: Trends in Levels

    Air quality still an issue:

    Increasing vehicle population

    Increasing travel per vehicle

    1980: average 9,500 miles/year 1980: average 9,500 miles/year

    1995: average 11,800 miles/yr

    Vehicle miles of travel: Increase of 3.1%/ yr

    Departures from Federal standards

    Greater use of light trucks (including SUVs)

  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)

    Primarily NO and NO2 NO3, N2O, N2O3, N2O4,

    N2O5 are also known to occur

    Thermal NOx created by oxidation of atmospheric N2 when T > 1000 K

    Fuel NOx from oxidation of N in fuel

  • Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)

    NO has few health effects, but is oxidized to NO2

    NO2 irritates lungs and promotes respiratory infectionsrespiratory infections

    NO2 reacts with hydrocarbons in presence of sunlight to produce smog

    NO2 reacts with hydroxyl radicals to produce nitric acid acid precipitation

  • Malaysia : NO2

  • Hydrocarbons

    Harmful Effects of Hydrocarbons

    Hydrocarbons in air by themselves alone cause no harmful effects. However, they undergo chemical reactions in the undergo chemical reactions in the presence of sunlight and nitrogen oxides. They form photochemical oxidants leading to photochemical smog. This causes irritation in the eyes and lungs leading to respiratory diseases.

  • Photochemical Smog

    hydrocarbons + NOx + sunlight

    photochemical smog (oxidants)

    primary oxidants produced:

    ozone (O3)


    peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN)

  • Photochemical Smog

  • Photochemical Smog

  • Ozone: Health Effects

    Increased incidents of respiratory distress.

    Repeated exposures to ozone:

    Increased susceptibility to respiratory infection

    Lung inflammation

    Aggravation of pre-existing respiratory diseases such as asthma.

    Decreases in lung function and increased respiratory symptoms such as chest pain and cough.

  • Ozone: Environmental Effects

    Ozone also affects vegetation and ecosystems

    reductions in agricultural and commercial forest yields ($0.5 billion/yr in US alone)($0.5 billion/yr in US alone)

    reduced growth and survivability of tree seedlings

    increased plant susceptibility to disease, pests, and other environmental stresses (e.g., harsh weather).

  • Malaysia : Ozone

  • Sulfur Oxides (SOx)

    SO2, SO3, SO42

    formed during combustion of fuel containing sulfur

    H2S released is converted to SOconverted to SO2

    10 Tg/yr natural sources

    75 Tg/yr anthropogenic sources

  • Sulfur Dioxide: Health Effects

    High concentrations of SO2 can result in temporary breathing impairment.

    Longer-term exposures to high concentrations of SO2, in conjunction with high levels of PM, include respiratory illness, alterations in the include respiratory illness, alterations in the lungs' defenses, and aggravation of existing cardiovascular disease

    Short-term exposures of asthmatic individuals to elevated SO2 levels may result in reduced lung function.

  • Manmade SO2 Emissions

    US SO2 emissions pie.

    50% of electricity produced in US comes from coal.

    Sfuel + O2 SO2

  • Sulfur Dioxide: Environmental Effects

    Acid Rain Decreased Visibility

  • Acid Rain

  • Impacts of Acid Rain

    Acid rain causes acidification of lakes and streams and contributes to the damage of trees at high elevations and many sensitive forest soils.

    In addition, acid rain accelerates the decay of building materials and paints, including irreplaceable building materials and paints, including irreplaceable buildings, statues, and sculptures that are part of our nation's cultural heritage.

    Prior to falling to the earth, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases and their particulate matter derivativessulfates and nitratescontribute to visibility degradation and harm public health.

  • Malaysia : SO2

  • Particulate Matter

    Solid or liquid particles with sizes from 0.005 100 m

    General term is aerosols

    Dust originates from grinding or crushing

    Fumes are solid particles formed when Fumes are solid particles formed when vapors condense

    Smoke describes particles released in combustion processes

    Smog used to describe air pollution particles

  • Health Impacts of Particulate Matter

  • Health Efffects of Particluate Matter

    Impact depends on particle size, shape and composition

    Large particles trapped in nose

    Particles >10 m removed in Particles >10 m removed in tracheobronchial system


  • Particulate Matter

    PM-2.5 (1997)

    < 2.5 m diameter PM-10 (1987)

    < 10 m diameter

    Original standards did not account for size larger particles that were not problematic dominated

    Similar sources, but tend to be more toxicologically active particles

    EPA estimates new standard will save 15,000 lives/yr

    < 10 m diameter

    fuel combustion (45%)

    industrial processing (33%)

    Transportation (22%)

  • Particulate Matter: Revised Standards

    Two new PM-2.5 standards

    15 micrograms per cubic meter (g/m3) and 65 g/m3, respectively, for the annual and 24-65 g/m , respectively, for the annual and 24-hour standards. In addition, the form of the 24-hour standard for PM-10 was changed.

    Beginning in 2002, EPA will designate areas as nonattainment that do not meet the new PM-2.5 standards.

  • Malaysia : PM10

  • Malaysia : PM10

  • Particulate Matter: Health Effects

    Inhalable PM includes both fine and coarse particles.

    Coarse particles aggravation of respiratory conditions, such as

    asthma. asthma.

    Fine particles increased hospital admissions and emergency

    room visits for heart and lung disease increased respiratory symptoms and disease decreased lung function premature death

  • Particulate Matter: Environmental Effects

    Decreased visibility

    the visual range can be reduced 70% from natural conditions natural conditions (natural visibility can be up to of 150 km)

    Damage to paints and building materials

  • Lead


    gasoline (historical)

    metals processing

    Highest air Pb Highest air Pb concentrations

    in the vicinity of nonferrous and ferrous smelters, and battery manufacturers.

  • Lead: Health Effects

    Accumulates in the blood, bones, and soft tissues.

    Adversely affects the kidneys, liver, nervous system, and other organs.

    Excessive exposure to Pb may cause neurological impairments, such as seizures, mental retardation, and behavioral disorders.

    May be a factor in high blood pressure and subsequent heart disease.

  • Effects of Air Pollution