2.10 Developing Fuels

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2.10 Developing Fuels
Evaporative emission ­ the evaporation of hydrocarbons and other pollutants from the petrol tank
of a car when the engine is not running, occurs because of the volatility of petrol
SOx ­ sulphur compounds in fuel combine with O
2 in the air, are acidic and produce acid rain
NO x ­ nitrogen compounds in the air combine with O2 at high temperature, are acidic and produce
acid rain
Acid rain causes health problems for asthmatics, damages forests and lakes and corrodes
limestone buildings.
CO ­ produced during incomplete combustion, toxic to humans as it binds irreversible to the
haemoglobin in blood and prevents O2 transport
Particulates ­ small carbon particles, cause irritation and disease e.g. bronchitis, also produced
during incomplete combustion
Photochemical smog ­ ozone is a secondary pollutant and is formed when sunlight shines on
primary pollutants (e.g. NOx and C
xHy), high concentrations of ozone at ground level weaken the
immune system and attacks lung tissue, ozone also acts as a greenhouse gas
Photochemical smog cause reduced visibility, eye/nose irritation & breathing difficulties.
Ozone damages plastics, rubbers, textiles and paints as it attacks the CC bonds in organic matter.
Sources Effects
NOx Combustion of fuels, N 2 and
Acid rain and photochemical
O 2 combining at high smog
temperatures, in power 2NO 2 + H
2O + ½O
stations and cars
SOx Fuels containing sulphur Toxic gas and acid rain
being burnt in O 2 SO3 + H
2SO 4

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CO Incomplete combustion, Bind to haemoglobin,
burning biomass photochemical smog
CO2 Complete combustion, Greenhouse gas
CxH y Unburnt fuels Photochemical smog
C Volcanoes, incomplete Causes lung cancer and heart
combustion of fuels and attacks
burning coal
Using Catalysts
O2 + CO
CO 2
O2 + C
CO 2 + H
NO x + CO CO 2 + N 2
These are reactions that turn pollutants into carbon dioxide, water and nitrogen , all molecules
that are present naturally in air.…read more


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