What is the chemical formula for ozone gas?
Ozone is present in the troposphere, a part of the atmosphere. Ozone consist of 3 molecules of Oxygen. The chemical formula for ozone is O3. Ozone is also called as tri-oxygen since it consists of 3 molecules of oxygen bound to each other by covalent bonds. The structure and formula of ozone were identified in the year 1865. However, it is less stable than Oxygen and blue in color.
How does ozone form in the stratosphere?
Ozone is found in both, the stratosphere and the troposphere. The formation of ozone in both these layers is distinct. Stratospheric ozone is formed in two simple steps. Initial step involves breaking the bonds between the oxygen molecules. This gives two separate oxygen atoms. Each oxygen atom then combines with an oxygen molecule (O2) to form ozone (O3). The breaking of the bonds takes place due to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Tropospheric ozone is formed in a different manner and often due to unnatural reactions. Natural gases from the troposphere react with pollutants (gases) in the air. Nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons along with sunlight form ozone in the troposphere. These primary reactants are mainly pollutants for fossil fuel combustion.
What is the cause of stratospheric ozone destruction in the last few decades? What chemicals are responsible for stratospheric ozone destruction?
The main reason for ozone depletion is the rise of green-house gases. These gases are released into the atmosphere. Most of these gases include hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Pollutants like these reach the atmosphere and accumulate over there for a long time. After some years, they are transported to the stratosphere. Most of these gases are halogen sources. They then get transported to the stratosphere and get converted to reactive halogen gases. Reactive halogen gases are the primary causes of ozone destruction. In Polar continents, especially stratospheric clouds have higher ozone depletion rates due to reactive halogen gases. Thus in polar areas, the impact of global warming and ozone depletion can be seen the most. Examples of reactive halogen gases are Chlorine monoxide (CIO) and Bromine monoxide (BIO). The principle behind ozone depletion in the stratosphere is the accumulation of unreactive halogen gases. Conversion of these gases to reactive halogen gases, followed by ozone depletion.
Why is the thinning of the ozone layer dangerous to humans?
Depletion of the ozone in the stratosphere can lead to Ultraviolet (UVB) radiation to reach the earth’s surface. The radiation of UVB from the sun cannot be controlled. The ozone layer in the stratosphere controls and prevents the entrance of UVB to the earth’s surface. Scientific studies have revealed the linkage between UVB and skin cancer in humans. Cataract in eyes has been reported due to UVB radiation. UVB is present in normal amounts, in the stratosphere. However, the depletion in the ozone layer can cause an increase in the amount of radiation. Apart from skin cancer and cataract, UVB has also been linked to hyper pigmentation of the skin and malignant tumor formation. Thus, depletion of the ozone can have serious effects on humans.
Write the chemical formula for the gas that forms when the sulfur atoms in the coal combine with oxygen during combustion.
Sulfur atoms are released from coal during combustion. Many vehicles and industries use coal as a primary fuel. Sulfur atoms combine with oxygen during combustion to form Sulfur trioxide. This happens with the interaction of sulfur with 3 atoms of oxygen. The chemical formula for Sulfur trioxide is SO3.
Industrial smog (gray air smog) is a mixture of Nitrogen oxides, PAHs, ozone and reactive hydrocarbons. It also consists of aldehydes, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and dust particles.
What are some sources of NOx in the atmosphere?
Nitric acid is formed mainly during thunderstorms. The formation of nitric acid is due to heat produced during lightening. Nitric acid in rain is commonly termed as acid rain and can be harmful to humans and crops. There are biogenic sources of NOx. These are mainly formed by nitrogen fixing organisms. These are mainly the natural sources of NOx in the atmosphere.
Artificial or unnatural sources include thermal combustion of fuels in industries and vehicles. Most industries use coal and natural gas for thermal combustion. This in turn releases variants of NOx. Combustion of fossil fuels in automobiles release nitrogen. Nitrogen reacts with free radicals in the air to form Nitrogen dioxide or nitric acid.
What are some sources of VOC’s (or HC’s)?
Hydrocarbons (HCs) are mainly produced from combustion of fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. The main 3 sources of HCs are large scale industry dealing with combustion of fossil fuels. Small scale industries dependent on gasoline and oil are secondary sources of HCs. Thirdly, Air shuttles, locomotive engines and automobiles are sources of Hydrocarbons.
Why are photochemical oxidants dangerous?
Photochemical oxidants are dangerous to both plants and humans. Exposure of Photochemical oxidants to plants reduce growth levels. Yielding capacity of crops is reduced on high amount of exposure to such chemicals. In humans, photochemical oxidants are said to have caused cancer of the skin and lungs. Studies have also revealed the linkage between tissue damage and photochemical oxidant exposure.
People often use their own vehicles for transportation. Limit driving (Rides on buses free) meant to implement the use of public transport in the community or state. Use of public transport can reduce the release of pollutants by private vehicles. This will eventually reduce the overall impact on ozone depletion. Reduction in overall carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion can be achieved by use of public transport.
Refueling gas in vehicles after sunset
Refueling after sunset can have a major impact on ozone depletion. During the day, especially in summer, tendency of fuel to be vaporized into the atmosphere is high. This can increase the risk of ozone depletion. On the other hand, refueling vehicles in the evening, after sun sets decreases the chances of vaporization of fuels and ozone depletion.
Avoid mowing lawns with gasoline-powered mowers
Gasoline powered mowers have smaller engines. Smaller the engine, higher is the rate of combustion. Higher combustion leads to increase in the rate of pollutants. Gasoline powered lawn mowers release a mixture of air pollutants increasing the chances of ozone depletion to more than 55%. These not only produce a mixture of air pollutants but also have higher maintenance costs. Most common pollutant is carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.
Put off any painting until later
Painting work in any household should be carried out only during the stay. Painting can cause the release of aerosols into the atmosphere. This can increase the chances of air contamination and lead to ozone depletion. Painting work should be carried out in a new house’ only if an individual were shifting soon. This can reduce re-painting work while shifting. Most common air pollutants from painting are Benzene, Methylene chloride and perchloroethylene.
Thus changing few daily activities could reduce release of air pollutants. These can prevent premature depletion of the ozone layer.