Causes of Air Pollution

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Causes of Air Pollution 2018-01-22T12:01:45+00:00

Most air pollutants come from burning fossil fuels or plant material. Some are the result of evaporation from human-made materials. Nearly half (49%) of air pollution comes from transportation, 28% from factories and power plants, and the remaining pollution from a variety of other source

Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are burned in most motor vehicles and power plants. These non-renewable resources are the power for nearly all manufacturing and other industries. Pure coal and petroleum can burn cleanly and emit only carbon dioxide and water, but most of the time these fossil fuels do not burn completely and the incomplete chemical reactions produce pollutants. Few sources of these fossil fuels are pure, so other pollutants are usually released. These pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons.

Evaporation
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) enter the atmosphere by evaporation. VOCs evaporate from human-made substances, such as paint thinners, dry cleaning solvents, petroleum, wood preservatives, and other liquids

Summary
Most fossil fuels are dirty and release pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrocarbons.
Burning plants and other biomass releases pollutants including carbon monoxide, methane, particulates, nitrous oxide, hydrocarbons, and organic and elemental carbon.
Volatile organic compounds evaporate into the air and become pollutants.

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