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C1 Air Quality
Revision Notes
1) The Atmosphere
The atmosphere is made up of a mixture of gases which are small molecules with large spaces between
them. The main gases are:

Nitrogen 78%
Oxygen 21%
Argon 1%
Small amounts of other gases e.g. carbon dioxide (0.037%) and water


Page 2

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Sulfur dioxide SO2 Combustion of coal and Causes acid rain by
fuel containing impurities dissolving in rain
of sulfur clouds

Nitrogen NO2 Combustion of nitrogen in Causes acid rain by
dioxide car engines produces dissolving in rain
nitrogen monoxide which
is oxidised in the
atmosphere to form
nitrogen dioxide…

Page 3

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(i.e. react with oxygen in the air) carbon dioxide and water are produced. The carbon in the hydrocarbon
fuel reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide and the hydrogen in the hydrocarbon fuel reacts with
oxygen to form water. The chemical equation for the combustion of methane would be:


Page 4

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Using less electricity so that less fossil fuels are burnt and therefore less carbon dioxide and other
harmful gases are produced.
Removing sulfur from natural gas and fuel oil which prevents sulfur dioxide being produced when
they are burnt
Removing sulfur dioxide from flue gases by wet scrubbing: an alkaline…

Page 5

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is measured 5 times. The mean is found to be 33ppm and the range 3035ppm. The actual amount
of nitrogen oxide released from the car (the true value) is very likely to be within your range and
your best estimate of the actual amount is your calculated mean. The reason…


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