EGEE 102
Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection

Review and Extra Resources



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EGEE 102 Lesson 4 Review
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--coal and we also talked about what they are made up of-- primarily carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other minerals. And we need to know what forms when these carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, and other minerals burn. And their primary combustion products. Primary combustion products are basically what forms when an element reacts with oxygen. So primary products of carbon dioxide, carbon moNOxide, hydrogen and water, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and lead, when we used to use unleaded gasoline. And you also need to know how each of these are forming. Like carbon dioxide, how does it form? Carbon moNOxide, when does it form? How does it form? And which are the sources that emit most of these carbon moNOxide, sulfur dioxide, et cetera, et cetera. Secondary pollutants and difference between primary and secondary pollutants. OK, you must be careful about that. Secondary pollutant is a pollutant that forms after primary pollutants are released and they react amongst themselves or something in the atmosphere, and forms secondary pollutants. And similarly, particulate matter-- what sizes they form, how they form, when they form, et cetera. And you also need to know the health and environmental effects of each of these pollutants like CO2, CO, SO2, et cetera. All these pollutants, health and environmental, what concentrations-- and you don't have to remember the numbers or anything, but how does it affect us? And which are the sources that emit these things, as I said. And particulate matter is PM, and it is classified based on size. And which size particles-- how they're classified-- which size are most dangerous. As you can see, intermediate-sized particles are the most dangerous one between 0.1 micron and 2.0 microns in size. And also, the regional effects of these particles we need to concentrate on-- global and regional effects. For example, CO2 causes global warming or sort of global climate change, and SO2 and NOx cause acid rain, et cetera, et cetera. All right, and greenhouse effect, what is it, basically? What is greenhouse effect-- definition or precisely what happens? And which of the gases that contribute to greenhouse effect? These are the gases that contribute to greenhouse effect, you need to know these. And some of these gases are more powerful than the others, so you need to understand what is global warming potential, or GWP. And you need to go through the textbook or your notes about CO2 and temperature profiles-- how they changed in the past 150 years and even before that. And what are the reasons for those changes? And as we talked about in the textbook, basically what is responsible for these kinds of changes? And preindustrial concentration and concentration right now, what it is and reasons for concern. And you also have to think about natural causes. Some people argue that it is happening naturally, so you need to know what are the arguments that are made for natural as well as human-made changes. Global warming, what is it? And difference between greenhouse effect and global warming, and factors affecting global climate change. What happens? What happens when global climate changes? Global temperature changes? And sea level changes? And polar ice caps melt? And precipitation levels change? Precipitation generally increases because there's more cloud cover. And also, what is for certain? What is not certain? And feedbacks--, feedbacks are like when low-level clouds form, it can reflect the sunlight, actually, increase the fraction of sunlight that can penetrate through thick clouds. And so the planet might be cooling down. And if the higher-level clouds form, it may be warming up. So those are the things that we don't know yet completely, know what kind of clouds form. So uncertainties and certainties-- for example, the great ocean belt conveyor phenomenon and so on, and so forth. And you also need to know what you can do to reduce potential global warming-- individual steps. When I say individual steps, you need to really know which gas, by which step which gas is reduced-- not just list those five steps or six steps that you know of. Drive less, that's not an answer. By driving less, I'm going to produce less CO2, because gasoline when burned produces CO2, kind of thing. You know you have to go to the reasoning part. And acid rain and ozone. Acid rain and ozone, how they form, basic chemistry you need to understand. Basic You don't have to write balanced equations, but what goes into it, and under what conditions these things form. And the gases that are responsible and conditions under which these things form. The difference between wet deposition, dry deposition, and how we measure acid rain on a pH scale. What is acid? What is base-- alkaline or basic? How we measure pH? And also the effects of these acid rain on various things. Effects on human health-- when we breathe SO2, NOx, what happens? What happens, when acid rain falls on soils, to vegetation and aquatic life? For example, fish cannot survive at lower pHs. And so different species. And effects of visibility, because acid rain components can form fine particulates which can reduce visibility. And different materials that we care about, like monuments, et cetera, statues, et cetera. You need to understand those differences. And ozone. Ozone-- basically two types, good ozone and bad ozone. So you need to understand why this is called good ozone, why this is called bad ozone. This good ozone shields us from UV light, and because it's far away in the stratosphere-- and this should be stratosphere, not troposphere here. And ground-level ozone. Ground-level ozone is formed by NOx and VOCs reacting in presence of sunlight. And why we call this bad ozone, why, we call this good ozone, and ozone hole, what is it? Is this really a hole? Or what is that ozone hole? Why we call that ozone hole. When the concentration goes down below a certain level it cannot shield us from the UV rays that are coming from the sun, so we call that an ozone hole. And how we are destroying that ozone and causing depletion of ozone, and causing the problem of more UV rays coming in. And also you need to understand, at the ground level, how the ground-level ozone is forming and turns into photochemical smog. Basic chemistry, what are the reactants that are going in. You don't have to actually balance the reactions or anything, but you need to understand the conditions and what are the reactants that are involved in it. And health and environmental effects. For example, ground-level ozone can cause human health problems, and also it can cause--

Review Sheet Lesson 4 – Energy and the Environment

  • Fossil fuels
    • Natural gas, Petroleum, Coal
  • Fossil fuel composition (Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Minerals)
  • Products of Combustion
    • Primary pollutants
      • Carbon Dioxide (majority), Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Lead
    • Secondary Pollutants
      • Difference between primary and secondary
    • Particulate matter
      • Primary particles
      • Secondary particles
  • Health and environmental effects of
    • CO2, CO, SO2, NOx, Lead
    • PM
      • Very Small (smaller than 0.1 μm)
      • Intermediate (between 0.1 μm and 2 μm) Most dangerous
      • Coarse size (larger than 2 μm)
  • Global and Regional effects of Secondary Pollutants
    • Greenhouse effect - What is it?
    • Greenhouse gases and GWP
      • CO2, H2O, CH4, N2O, Other gases [CFC-12, HCFC-22,Perfluoromethane (CF4), Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)]
    • CO2 and temperature fluctuations (pre-industrial and current concentrations and temperature changes)
    • Global warming:
      • What is it?
      • Difference between greenhouse effect and Global warming
      • Factors affecting Global climate change
      • Potential consequences on global temperature, change in sea levels, polar icecaps, precipitation levels, etc.
      • What is known for certain?
      • What is likely but uncertain?
      • What is uncertain?
    • Solutions for global warming
  • Acid Rain and Ozone
    • Acid Deposition, Basic chemistry of formation, gases responsible for acid deposition
      • Wet deposition
      • Dry Deposition
      • pH scale (ranges from 0 to 14)
        • pH of 7 is neutral
        • pH less than 7 is acidic
        • pH greater than 7 is basic
      • Effects of acid rain on human health, vegetation, aquatic life,visibility, and materials
    • Ozone
      • Good Ozone (stratospheric ozone) vs. Bad Ozone (ground level ozone)
      • Ozone Hole (Dobson units)
      • Effects of Ozone depletion – basic chemistry
      • Ground level Ozone and Photochemical smog formation- Basic chemistry
      • Health and Environmental effects
      • Your power in protecting the environment

Test Yourself

The questions below are your chance to test and practice your understanding of the content covered in this lesson. In other words, you should be able to answer the following questions if you know the material that was just covered! If you have problems with any of the items, feel free to post your question on the unit message board so your classmates, and/or your instructor, can help you out!

  1. What is the difference between primary and secondary pollutants?
  2. How can scientists extrapolate historical climate changes by analyzing ice cores?
  3. What is the greenhouse effect? Explain the difference between greenhouse effect and global warming? Which gases contribute to the greenhouse effect?
  4. Explain how ozone is formed at the ground level with the help of the basic reactions. Which end users of energy are responsible for the emissions of the compounds involved?
  5. Explain how the stratospheric ozone layer is being destroyed. Which sector is responsible for the emission of the gases that are responsible for this?
  6. What is acid rain? How is it formed? What are the effects of acid rain?
  7. List five steps that you, as an individual, can take to reduce potential global warming, and explain how each of these steps will reduce the emissions.
  8. List 5 ways in which you, as an individual, can reduce gaseous emissions that contribute to acid rain.
  9. State the arguments that scientists who say that global warming is not due to burning of fossil fuels are making.
  10. What are the effects of ground level ozone?
  11. Briefly describe the methods by which information is gathered and used to show that the planet is warming up.

Extra Resources

For more information on topics discussed in Lesson 4, see these selected references:

  1. CDIAC
  2. EPA page on emissions
  3. Vital Climate Graphics
  4. The Science of Ozone Layer Depletion
  5. EPA page on climate
  6. Yosemite EPA
  7. GW debate
  8. EPA page on acid rain
  9. Acid Rain
  10. Visibility
  11. Six Common Air Pollutants
  12. Carbon Monoxide