Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Nitrogen Oxide as an Environmental Pollution Essay

Nitrogen Oxide as an Environmental Pollution - Essay Example with the first section covers the common nitrogen oxides, followed by the sources and potential sinks in the environment, then the chemical behaviour of these oxides, the impacts on human and ecosystem, and finally the prevention and control of these pollutants. Nitrogen oxides mainly consist of nitrogen and oxygen, and the most common nitrogen oxides are nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (Farmer 2013, p.26; Harrison 2001, p.179). Notably, nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide are emitted when nitrogen reacts with oxygen in the air during combustion at high temperatures and this shows that the amount of nitrogen oxides produced depends on temperature of combustion. Another nitrogen oxide is nitrous oxide (N2O) which is a greenhouse gas that has a greater impact on climate change. Nitric oxide is a colourless gas with a sharp and sweet smell, but nitrogen dioxide is a colourless gas with a strong, harsh odour. Of the nitrogen oxides emitted, nitric oxides forms the larger part, followed by nitrous oxide then nitrogen dioxide which is produced in low amounts, and also it is important to note that both nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxides does not have prolonged lifespan in the atmosphere as compared to nitrous oxide. Nitrogen oxides are produced naturally but they are as well produced by various human activities including agricultural activities, transportation and industrial processes and many others. In nature, nitrogen oxides are produced because of bacterial processes, biological growth and decay, forest fires (Lippmann 2009, p.823), volcano, and lightening among others (Hill 2010, p.128). Thunderstorms lead to the production of nitric oxide as a result of high heat of lightening released in the process of breaking down nitrogen molecules. On the other hand, burning of fossil fuels is considered the primary source of nitrogen oxides as part of human activities. Transportation fuels when burned produce nitrous oxide and mostly, motor vehicles and trucks

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