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Environmental Pollution

Solid waste management: urban and industrial wastes

Disaster management:
Global climate change and greenhouse effect
Ozone depletion problem
Acid rain.

Kaushik Chanda, PhD

Assistant Professor
Organic Chemistry Division,
School of Advanced Sciences,
VIT University, Vellore – 14.
III. Environmental changes & Remediation
 Definition and Causes. Pollution effects and control measures of
Air, Noise, Water & Soil.
• Thermal Pollution and nuclear hazards.

• Solid waste management: Causes, effects and control measures

of urban and industrial wastes.
• Disaster management:
Floods, Earthquakes, Cyclones,
Tsunami, Tornados & Landslides.
• Global climate change and greenhouse effect:
 Kyoto Protocol: IPCC 2007: Fighting global warming Stabilization of
Greenhouse gas.
 Carbon credits: To reduce emissions of Greenhouse gas.
 Carbon sequestration: Capturing or retaining Co2 from atmosphere:
Afforestation, Reforestation Activities.
 Clean development mechanisms.
 In Kyoto Protocol to prevent dangerous climate change
 In achieving compliance with their quantified emission limitation and
reduction greenhouse gas (GHG) emission
• Ozone depletion problem – Montreal Protocol.
• Acid rain.
Environmental Pollution- Overview
Pollution: Introduction, Definition

Causes for pollution

Pollution effects & control measures of

1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Soil pollution
4. Noise pollution
5. Thermal pollution
6. Nuclear hazards.
Environmental Pollution
Air Pollution
Water Pollution
• The brilliant white of the Taj Mahal is slowly fading to
a sickly yellow.

• In the famous “Tajmahal Case” a very strongstep was taken

by Supreme Court to save the Taj Mahal Case being polluted
by fumes and more than 200 factories were closed down.
• Agara city's waste finding its way to the River Yamuna
Environmental Pollution:
• Environmental Pollution – Become a serious environmental issue
all over the parts of the world.

• Mostly contributed by man-made activities as a result of rapid

advancements in industrialization.

• Present crisis due to Environmental degradation results a drastic

reduction in the Environmental Quality & subsequently into

• Serious threat to alter the Ecological balance and leads to adverse

changes in Ecosystem & Biodiversity.

• Biological life is severely threatened and affected thus causing

terrible impacts and implications on human welfare.

• Pollution directly affects the human health - cancers &

chromosomal abnormalities.
What is Pollution?
What is Pollution?
Introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes
Instability, disorder, harm, or Discomfort to the living organisms.

Environmental Pollution can be defined as

Any undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics
of any component of the environment (air, water, soil), which can cause
harmful effects on various forms of life or property.

Pollution exists in many forms and affects many different aspects of Earth’s

• It can take the form of chemical substances, or energy, such as noise, heat, or
light energy..

 The elements of pollution,
 Can be foreign substances or naturally occurring.

• When naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they

exceed natural levels.
Pollutants - Category

Biodegradable pollutants
Materials (Sewage) that rapidly decomposes by natural processes

Non-Biodegradable Pollutants:
Donot decompose or decompose slowly in the environment.

. It is difficult or impossible to remove these pollutants from the

Pollutants - Classification

Substances not naturally found in the air or
Found at greater concentrations or
In different locations from usual are referred to as pollutants.

Primary pollutants are substances directly emitted from a

process, such as,
Ash from a volcanic eruption,
carbon monoxide gas from a motor vehicle exhaust or
sulfur dioxide released from factories.

Secondary pollutants are not emitted directly.

Rather, they form in the air when primary pollutants react or

Example of a secondary pollutant is ground level ozone –

one of the many secondary pollutants that make up
photochemical smog.
Primary pollutants
Major primary pollutants produced by human activity
Sulfur oxides (SOx) - Sulfur- dioxide are emitted from burning of
coal and oil.

Nitrogen oxides (NOx)- Nitrogen dioxide

Emitted from high temperature combustion.
Can be seen as the brown haze dome above or plume downwind of

Carbon monoxide:
 Colourless, odorless, non-irritating but very poisonous gas.
 It is a product by incomplete combustion of fuel such as natural
gas, coal or wood.
 Vehicular exhaust is a major source of carbon monoxide.

Carbon dioxide (CO2): Greenhouse gas emitted from combustion.

Volatile organic compounds (VOC): Hydrocarbon fuel vapors & solvents.

Primary pollutants
Particulate matter (PM), measured as smoke and dust.
• PM10 is the fraction of suspended particles 10 micrometers in
diameter and smaller that will enter the nasal cavity.

• PM2.5 has a maximum particle size of 2.5 µm and will enter the
bronchi’s and lungs.

• Toxic metals, such as lead, cadmium, and copper.

• Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), harmful to the ozone layer

emitted from products currently banned from use.

• Ammonia (NH3) emitted from agricultural processes.

Odors, such as from garbage, sewage, and industrial processes .

• Radioactive pollutants produced by nuclear explosions, war

explosives, and natural processes such as the radioactive
decay of radon.
Secondary pollutants
Secondary pollutants include:

• Particulate matter formed from gaseous primary pollutants

and compounds in photochemical smog, such as nitrogen

• Ground level ozone (O3) formed from NOx and VOCs.

• Peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) similarly formed from NOx and

Photochemical smog

New York City, before and after a photochemical smog.

Photochemical smog
Photochemical smog is a mixture of pollutants which includes
particulates, nitrogen oxides, ozone, aldehydes,
peroxyethanoyl nitrate (PAN), unreacted hydrocarbons, etc.

The smog often has a brown haze due to the presence of nitrogen dioxide.
It causes painful eyes.

4000 more people died On 9 December 1952, foggy conditions developed over
Being very cold, most houses kept fires burning, with coal as the major fuel.

• Smog which persisted for 4 days. The pH of air during the Great London Smog was as
low as 1.6.

• The condition needed for the formation of the smog are present in
modern cities.

• They included sunlight, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulates

which act as catalyst.

• These are the equations in the formation of photochemical smog.

Photochemical smog

Where do the reactants come from?

• NOx primarily from transportation

• VOC from a variety of sources, including refining, other

industries, etc.
Photochemical smog

• It can cause headaches, eye, nose and throat irritations.
• It may cause the lung function impaired, coughing and wheezing.
• It can damage plants, leading to the loss of crops.

Case Study
• On 9 December 1952, foggy conditions developed over London.
• Being very cold, most houses kept fires burning, with coal as the major fuel.

• The smoke from these fires mixed with the fog and was unable to disperse, resulting in
a smog which persisted for 4 days.

• The pH of air during the Great London Smog was as low as 1.6.

• During this period some 4000 more people died than would expected at this time of the
• Most of these additional deaths were due to respiratory disorders.
Pollution is often classed as
point source or nonpoint source pollution.

Point source of pollution:

• Single identifiable localized source of
Air, water, thermal, noise and light pollution.
It may come from specific locations, such as sewage pipelines or
industrial smokestacks.

• A point source has negligible extent, distinguishing it from other

pollution source geometries.

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is water pollution affecting a

water body from diffuse sources, rather than a point source,
which discharges to a water body at a single location.
Effects of Pollution
Source of pollution comes from dispersed or uncontained sources,

 Contaminated water runoff from urban areas or

 Automobile emissions.

The effects of these pollutants may be immediate or delayed.

 Primary effects of pollution occur immediately after contamination

occurs, such as

 The death of marine plants and wildlife after an oil spill at sea.

 Secondary effects may be delayed or may persist in the

environment into the future, perhaps going unnoticed for many

 A non-degradable compound, seldom poisons birds immediately,

but gradually accumulates in their bodies.
Impacts of pollution
• Mercury is a highly toxic element. authorities discovered that a
local industry had released mercury into Minamata Bay, which 400
people had died.

• If pollution keeps on going we will see even more deaths.

• Earth would be destroyed before our very own eyes.

By humans being at the top of the food chain, they are

particularly vulnerable to the effects of non-degradable pollutants
Types of Environmental pollution
 Air Pollution
 Water Pollution
 Soil Pollution
 Noise Pollution
 Thermal Pollution and
 Nuclear hazards
Air Pollution
Human contamination of Earth’s atmosphere can take many forms.

During the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, however, air
pollution became a major problem.

Urban air pollution is commonly known as smog.

Smog developed into a major health hazard by in 1948, 19 people died and
thousands were sickened by smog in the small U.S. town of Donora,

If we do not want to have all these health problems, we should stop polluting
our air.

It is bad enough that we destroyed half of earth to keep on destroying it.


 Reduce the use of fossil fuels by either walking short distances or

using a car pool, sharing a bike or using public transport. This reduces
air pollution

 Don’t use aerosol spray products and commercial air-fresheners. They

damage ozone layer.

 Do not pour pesticides, paints, solvents , oil or other products

containing harmful chemicals down the drain or onto the ground

 Help in restoring a degraded area near your home or join an

afforestation program.

 Use eco-friendly products.

 Do not use polystyrene cups that have chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

molecules in them which destroy ozone layer

 Use CFC free refrigerator


 Promote Reuse and Recycling wherever possible and Reduce the

production of waste (3 R approach)

 Use rechargeable batteries

 Try to avoid asking for plastic carry bags when you buy vegetables or any
other items. Use your own cloth bag instead

 Don’t use disposable paper and plastic plates and cups when reusable
versions are available.

 Save electricity by not wasting, it when not required because electricity

saved is electricity generated without polluting the environment.

 Check population growth so that demand of materials is under control.

 Plant more trees, as trees can absorb many toxic gases and can purify the
air by releasing oxygen.
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