Air pollution is the main reason for the degraded environmental condition. Intensive human activities are increasing day by day. As a result, adverse outcomes have been seen on soil, water, air, and human health. According to WHO, almost 80% of people in the world live in areas where air quality is compromised. The worse fact about air pollution is that fine particles could travel a long distance and degrade the quality of other areas. So, adopting advanced technologies to manage the air quality of certain areas doesn’t guarantee clean air. This article would give you an insight into solutions to address the air quality by preventing pollution or controlling it.
Suitable control technology depends upon the type of air pollutants and the condition at the source. Sources of air pollution are of two kinds; Mobile and Stationary sources. Mobile sources of air pollution include airplanes and motor vehicles. On the other hand, industrial units, oil refineries, and factories are stationary sources of air pollution. The burning of fossil fuels – both in industries and automobiles – is the primary source of air pollution. So, by controlling the use of coal and petroleum, air quality could improve considerably. Air quality could be managed by employing both preventing and controlling strategies. Following are some technologies and techniques to manage air quality.
According to WHO, almost 80% of people in the world live in areas where air quality is compromised.
1 – Nanotechnology to control air quality:
Nanotechnology can be employed in air pollution control. Nanofiltration, Nano absorption, Nano adsorption, or a mix of these could mitigate and control air pollution. Adsorption is cost-effective among all due to the high available surface area. Calcium-based nano-adsorbents capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into other products. Different other elements such as Titanium can also be employed for adsorption.
A study has been conducted in Azerbaijan to analyze the effect of cobalt-supported zeolite catalysts on the catalytic combustion of ethyl acetate. The results showed that pure air comes out after oxidation. Thus, Nano-catalysts can also employ in internal combustion engines of vehicles.
2- Carbon Capture and Storage:
The burning of coal produces almost 15 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Clean coal technology is an attempt to address the problem of degraded air quality that’s due to the burning of coal. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an advanced technology that addresses the issue of climate change by reducing the emission of carbon dioxide – a potent greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide can be captured to use for the cultivation of algae. Algae use co2 for photosynthesis. However, a controlled amount of co2 is necessary for growth; otherwise, the greater the concentration of co2, the greater the blooms of blue-green algae. Surprisingly, algae could be used as biofuel. Therefore, conversion of a pollutant into a resource could help to manage air quality.
Nanotechnology to control air quality
Carbon Capture and Storage
Installation of scrubbers
Gravity settling chamber
- Cyclone separator
- Installation of chimneys
3 – Catalytic converters:
The introduction of catalytic converter and desulfurization technology in automobiles could emit less toxic chemicals into the air. The catalytic converter is a metal box introduced in motor vehicles. It converts the poisonous gasses that produce in a vehicle’s exhaust into less harmful gasses. In the entire expected life of a vehicle, an efficient catalytic converter could reduce the emission of hydrocarbons by 87 percent and Nitrous oxide by 62 percent. Thus, reduce the burden of pollutants on the environment.
4 – Desulfurization:
Sulphur is a harmful element that can cause acid rain and damage human health and the environment. The bulk of sulphur is used in industries solely, as well as it’s present in coal. Removal of sulphur and sulphur compounds – desulfurization – is commonly used in industries. A desulfurized could remove almost 95% of So2 from flue gasses, thus making the mineral clean to use and reducing industry emissions.
5 – Installation of scrubbers:
Scrubbers are also installed in industries that allow the emission of comparatively clean air. Scrubbers use liquid to wash out pollutants from the gas stream. The wet slurry of limestone is sprayed in a large chamber where flue gases are present. The design of scrubbers varies, so they also use magnesium in place of calcium. The calcium reacts with So2 and removes the product – calcium sulphite – that can be capture with other particulate matters. However, scrubbers efficiently remove almost 98 percent of sulphur dioxide from flue gases.
6 – Gravity settling chamber:
A gravity settling chamber is also a promising technology to reduce the toxic emissions of industry. The technique uses several horizontal trays. Polluted air with slow speed entered the room from one side to settle the particulate matter due to gravity. In this way, the air laden with particulate matter becomes clean.
7 – Cyclone separator:
Cyclone separator is a widely used air pollution control device. It cleans the particulate matter in flue gasses before they exit into the atmosphere. About 99 percent of airborne waste could collect through this method. Pre-cleaners remove large particles and gasses then go through a filtration process that further removes fine particles. Cyclones could remove coolant mist, metalworking chips, fine powders, and explosive matter. Various cyclone separators have been used in industry, including a reverse-flow cyclonic separator, uniflow cyclonic separator, and impellor collector. The separator’s efficiency depends upon the size of the device, speed of inlet gases, smoothness of the device’s wall, and size of particulate matter.
8 – Installation of chimneys:
Pollution stemming from wood firing in houses degrade the air quality. A study conducted in Denmark concluded that around 50 percent of particle pollution is due to wood firing. Installation of high-altitude chimneys doesn’t cause ground-level pollution. However, it’s the least recommended solution to control air pollution. Because in one way or other, pollutants impact the environment negatively.
Air pollution is a highlighted issue across the globe. Large numbers of deaths occur due to air pollution. Despite the awareness and control technologies, the air quality is getting worse each day. Mitigation and control are two solutions to manage air quality. The controlling practices include installing scrubbers, catalytic converters, gravity and cyclone separator, carbon capture and storage, and many more. Active public transportation with advanced technologies can make the issue a little better. These technologies could improve the air quality if enforced by laws. However, pollution prevention is the first step to manage the air quality of an area.