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Methods of Planet Pollution Prevention

Introduction

The world is currently experiencing several environmental problems. The majority of these problems are due to drastic globalization and the vast natural processes. Many of these problems originate from localized sources and then they keep on accumulating and undergoing transformation to become so challenging and of high injurious impacts. Some of the well-known environmental challenges interact with other natural and man-made processes to bring out effects that are not fully understood and complicated to solve (Hall, 1990).

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The technical transformation in the world is growing at a drastic pace which results in massive and numerous productions of wastes into the environment. These wastes are produced at a higher rate to an extent that some nations lack the capacity of handling and disposing of them safely. However, there are several environmental technologies in place aimed at curbing and preventing the detrimental effects of these wastes from reaching either water, air, and soil which can later cause harm and health-related implication to the ecosystem.

Environmental Pollution Control Technologies

There are various environmental technological methods and strategies that can be used to control or prevent different kinds of pollutants from different kinds of industrial and urbanization processes from reaching the susceptible environment.

These technologies have undergone reformation and can be classified into four generations. The first generation is also known as remediation technology, this kind of technology is aimed to control and clean up the environment after it has been exposed or polluted by the different kinds of pollutants. It includes among others soil clean-up procedures, ground & surface water treatment methods, and the various methods to reclaim damaged landscapes. As the saying goes prevention is better than cure, these methods are usually expensive (Higgins, 1996).

The second generation of pollution prevention and control technologies is the abatement technology which is also known as ‘end of pipe’ technology. These are technological appliances that have been made to capture and retain the environmental pollutants before they gain n their route into the environment. They usually adopt the use of biological, chemical, and physical technological mechanisms to get rid of or reduce the pollutants in industrial emissions. Some of the well-known examples include; municipal runoff & sewage treatment plants, industrial catalytic converters, heavy metal controllers in metal in industries, desulphurization equipment for flue gases in coal and oil refineries plants.

One of the most challenging aspects of the abatement technology is that it does not fully eliminate the resultant pollutants but only captures some of the waste streams before it gains a route to the environment. This technology is also costly, requires high maintenance & fixing skills, consumes a large amount of energy, and also produces waste disposal challenges of its own. However, many industries and regulatory activities have always stuck to this technology. Due to this stagnated focus on the emphasis of the use of the abatement technology, by many industrial regulatory policies in many industrialized nations, billions of cash have been spent in order to buy and install this technology. By maintaining this status for some time now, it has hindered the transition of pollution prevention and control to the next generation i.e. the third generation (Eli, 2002).

The third-generation technology is known as pollution prevention technology. It has started to attract the attention of many pollution regulators, the private sector, and environmental protection policymakers. There are two distinct types of prevention technologies. One is the improvement of processes that are known to produce pollutants for example farming practices that do away with the use of pesticides and fertilizers and cleaning methods that do away with hazardous detergents. The second type of pollution prevention technology is the use of biodegradable material for the various industrious processes, for example, the use of lead-free petroleum in vehicles, manufacture of mercury-free batteries, and application of water-based paints on surfaces.

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The fourth generation of pollution curbing technology is sustainable technology. The need to adopt this technology is very important because of the dire need of achieving a blend of social objectives, environmental and economic of the needs of the ecosystem. This technology comes along with several benefits in one package. They heavily concentrate on the reduction of the need for economic or environmental trade-offs which usually exemplifies abatement and remediation technologies, mainly by highlighting the cost-effective returns of resources and energy efficiencies.

Is the Abatement Technology Effective?

As already mentioned above the abatement technology for pollution control is the most dominating kind of technology in use in many countries today. However, the big question, therefore, is, whether these environmental technologies in place aimed at preventing environmental pollution can achieve their perceived goal in an efficient and effective manner and guarantee absolutely no pollutants are passed on to the susceptible environment.

The adoption of abatement or ‘end pipe’ technology is possibly inefficient in the long run. When taking an example of the catalytic converter technology used in automobiles, which is designed to enable a reduction of the magnitude of pollution per kilometer and also decrease fuel consumption makes the vehicles cheaper to manage and also costs less to drive them. This makes the vehicle owners indulge in driving more kilometers and by so doing they increase the pollution rates. Hence more pollution is going to continue occurring at the industrial level since there are more efficient plants that process more and more producing more and more pollutants. Even if these pollutants are being captured by the abatement devices then it means that the massive production of pollutants will defiantly find their way into the environment in a gradual and minor way and after it all there will be great pollutants emitted to the environment (Eli, 2002).

Separation processes lie into two categories that are rate-based and equilibrium-oriented processes. All these two processes use the concept of dynamics of heat equilibrium interactions between the rates and phases of chemical species from one chemical phase to the other respectively. If then if it happens that there is a massive transfer of pollutants to an extent that the equilibrium is hastily reached then there will be a spill of pollutants into the susceptible environment and also on the other hand if the masses transfer of pollutants are very slowly such that the equilibrium delays to approach then this process becomes pollutant masses transfer limited. These two scenarios associated with the separation processes leave the separation technologies with a lot of limiting challenges apart from the earlier said expensive nature of this technology.

Nanotechnology which is a well-known End-of-pipe treatment of procedure is said to have the ability to have negative impacts on the environment that needs control measures. This technology uses quantum dots which are semiconductors such as CdSe and CDs. Hence the big question is what happens when these two known toxic compounds which are part of an abatement technology get into the environment, the answer defiantly is that they will cause harm but the extent is yet to be ascertained (Hutchison, 2001).

Solving The Inefficiency of ‘End of Pipe’ Technological Challenges

The way forward in curbing the limitations that are associated with the abatement technology should involve a clear transition towards the adoption of the third and then the fourth generation environmental pollution control technologies. However technological standards are the most convenient methods which can be adapted to contain the scourge of pollution.

This standard should be established after a clear consideration and analysis of the best practices which are sensitive to the socio-economical, political, and environmental issues related to them. One of the examples that really worked was the adoption of “marketable permits” a strategy that was used in the year nineteen ninety, this strategy involved the state setting emission thresholds then later broke this threshold into even smaller units and it emphasized the polluter pays principle (Young, 1994).

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This kind of principle in association with other technologies in place could let the polluting industries or facilities take full charge of cubing pollution even without the routine regulatory supervision and standard settings from the environmental protection agencies.

Conclusion

Like all the other kinds of technologies, environmental technologies usually have a tendency of getting to the plateau of their developmental cycle. Hence in the pursuit of controlling the environmental pollution to our soil, water, and air, it is a vital thing not to stagnate at only one strategy or technology.

A breakthrough, regardless of the cause taken, can effectively make the technology chosen more profitable and convenient. Long-term investment ventures which are probable sources of pollutions should give a higher priority to using the most reputable clean production processes or practices, which will give an example to others showing them the right direction forward (John, 1996).

References

Eli, R., (2002). Clean technology at crossroads. Washington D.C.: CALPRIG.

Hall, R.H. (1990). Global environment and health, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Higgins, J. (1996). Canadian perspective on the world environmental Industry. Canada: Environmental Technologies Corporation.

Hutchison, J. E., (2001), “The third green chemistry”, Barcelona: Spain.

John W. F. (1996). Green management: a modern perspective. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

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Young, L. (1994). The efficiency in creating a sustainable materials economy. UK: Worldwatch Institute.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, October 22). Methods of Planet Pollution Prevention. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/methods-of-planet-pollution-prevention/

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