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Solutions for Air Pollution

Air Pollution Regulation

Increasing air pollution in the United States has led to the enforcement of laws regulating environmental safety. Several factors have precipitated the changes in federal laws on air pollution. Firstly, air contamination with chemical substances adversely affects health, causing diseases, and reducing life expectancy. Secondly, the labor force reduces the output due to the negative effect of fossil fuels on work efficiency. Finally, sulfur oxides damage soil, harmfully impacting crop yield. The lack of sufficient regulation and increasing environmental concerns moved the lawmakers to adjust the legislation accordingly.

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In order to legally structure the regulation of pollution, NAAQS was introduced. It is a set of standards designed to estimate the effect certain pollutants are going to produce within a limited amount of time. For instance, the emission of carbon monoxide (CO) is calculated by parts per million (ppm) unit of measure. For adequate health protection, CO release should be limited to 9 ppm within 8 hours. Exceeding this level increases the probability of toxin poisoning, thus it is allowed to surpass its limit only once a year. The same principle applies to other major pollutants – their concentration is also limited by level per unit of time measurement ratio.

Achieving the reduction of pollution is only possible through cooperation with entities responsible for the atmosphere contamination. One way to streamline the process of minimizing emissions is to buy an emission offset. An offset is an agreement between an enterprise and the government to continue dispersing the contaminants in exchange for the implementation of projects that reduce emissions like shifting to renewable energy, or eliminating the source of pollutants. In essence, it is a long-term compromise that is supposed to help alleviate air pollution via applying environmentally friendly technologies.

Flue Gas Desulfurization

Flue gas desulfurization is a process meant to curb the detrimental effect of sulfur dioxide in a flue gas stream. By being mixed with sulfur dioxide, water becomes acidic, regardless of where it is – in the clouds or on the surface. However, it is especially dangerous in the air as it can trigger acid rains. Such rains are unpredictable because winds can spread acidic water in any direction. It leads to intoxication of rivers, soil, and forests. As for humans, sulfur dioxide exposure can affect the lungs, obstruct breathing, and cause other complications. In order to preserve the environment and protect public health, it is necessary to eliminate sulfur dioxide from flue gas.

Eliminating sulfur dioxide requires a special technology to be applied on power plants. Power plants convert sulfur to sulfur dioxide by burning the fuel. Flue gas has to exit, and if sulfur is not purified, it also exits as part of the exhaust gas. The key is neutralizing sulfur dioxide by generating a chemical reaction with alkaline substances. Afterward, the neutralized gas can be disposed of, and the emitting flue gas is free of sulfur dioxide. These chemical reactions require special equipment in the form of a scrubber. Scrubbers are installed near chimneys of power stations, but they are not the only method of removing sulfur dioxide. Another technology presupposes the usage of a condenser that cools the exhaust gas while simultaneously preventing sulfur dioxide from mixing with the flue gas. Either way, the principle is the same – the system that handles gas flue desulfurization operates on preventing sulfur dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

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StudyCorgi. "Solutions for Air Pollution." January 7, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Solutions for Air Pollution." January 7, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Solutions for Air Pollution'. 7 January.

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