Environmental Problems

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Burning Fuels Releases Gases

Power Stations burn fossil fuels to make electricity

When fossil fuels are burnt, carbon dioxide and water vapour are released:

hyrdrocarbon + oxygen --> carbon dioxide + water vapour


If there isn't enough oxygen present, carbon and carbon monoxide are also released

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Sulfur dioxide cause Acid Rain

Sulfur is found in petrol and diesel

When the sulfur dioxide mixes with clouds it forms sulfuric acid, acid rain

  • It causes lakes to be acidic
  • plants and animals die as a result
  • Kills trees
  • damages limestone buildings
  • ruins stone statues
  • links between acid rain and human health
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Acid Rain can be Prevented

Sulfur can be removed from fuels, Yay, but...

  • Costs more to do it
  • takes more energy
  • releases more carbon dioxide in the process

However, petrol and diesel are being replaced by low-sulfur versions

Power stations now have Acid Gas Scrubbers to take the gases out before they reach the atmosphere

catalytic converters fitted in cars

Maybe we should reduce our usage of fosill fuels?...

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Carbon dioxide is a GREENHOUSE GAS

Gases like carbon dioxide, methane act like an insulating layer : "greenhouse gases"

They absorb the heat radiated out in space, and re-direct it back in all directions -- INCLUDING EARTH

The Earth is gradually heating up

Human activity affects these levels of gases and causes climate change

(See next notecard)

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Human activity affects co2 levels

  • Deforestation for timber
  • Burning fossil fuels


Iron Seeding:

  • Inject iron into upper ocean to promote phytoplankton
  • They bloom and they absorb co2 and balance out the gases
  • However, some ones are toxic


Converting co2 into hydrocarbons is also a possiblity though it means high pressure, temperaure and a metal catalyst.

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