Thursday, 9 June 2011

4.11 Gas Pollution

4.11 understand the biological consequences of pollution of air by sulphur dioxide and by carbon monoxide.

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) is a gas is added to the atmosphere by the combustion of fossil fuels in power stations, factories etc. Vehicles also contribute a lot of sulphur dioxide to the atmosphere. When sulphur dioxide rises up in the atmosphere it forms sulphuric acid with water which condenses as clouds(SO2+H2O=>Sulphuric Acid) and falls as acid rain. Acid rain can 'burn' tree when fallen and the sulphuric acid causes Calcium and Magnesium to be leached out of the soil, without calcium and magnesium ions in the soil the plants will cause the leaves to turn yellow/wither and the plant can't grow. The precipitation will form streams and goes to the lake which will reduce the ph of the lake (because its acidic) the affect is that it brings the release of aluminium ions (Al3+) which causes the thickening of mucus in the fishes gills which reduces the ability of fish to obtain oxygen through water and the fish suffocates and dies.

photo showing plants affected by acid rain

sulphur dioxide coming from coal power plants.

trees 'burned' by acid rain

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a gas added to the atmosphere by the combustion of fossil fuels (more particularly coal) burned with insufficient oxygen. Carbon monoxide combines with our haemaglobin inside our blood to form carbamina haemaglobin and blocks haemaglobin from carrying oxygen which reduces oxygen circulation. This is toxic, too much carbon monoxide can be fatal.

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