EGEE 102
Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection

Basic Chemistry and Sources

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As we have learned, volatile Organic Compounds (Hydrocarbons) combine with nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the presence of sunlight to form ozone.

VOCs+NO x sunlight Ozone


In turn, sunlight and hot weather cause ground-level ozone to form in harmful concentrations in the air. As a result, it is known as a summertime air pollutant.

Ozone + NO sunlight Photochemical Smog (Haze)


Many urban areas tend to have high levels of "bad" ozone, but even rural areas are also subject to increased ozone levels because wind carries ozone and pollutants that form it hundreds of miles away from their original sources.

View the graph below to compare the major sources of NOx and VOC that help to form ozone.

Major sources of NOx and VOC's including: Industrial, utilities, motor vehicles, consumer solvents, and other sources. Refer to text description below.
Major sources of NOx and VOC.
Click to expand to provide a text description.
Sources of NOx and VOC
Source Amount of NOx Amount of VOC
Industrial 18% 50%
Utilities 24% 0%
Motor Vehicles 55% 45%
Consumer Solvents 0% 5%
Other 5% 0%