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Sulfur Dioxide

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Samantha Smith

on 15 October 2014

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Transcript of Sulfur Dioxide

Sulfur Dioxide
Samantha Smith, Katlyn Del-cid, Amanda Martins, Justin Urion
Effects on the Biosphere
Pollutant Background
sul·fur di·ox·ide
- a colorless pungent toxic gas formed by burning sulfur in air.
Sulfur dioxide (also sulphur dioxide, sulfurous anhydride or sulphurous anhydride) has the chemical formula SO2.
Sulfur Dioxide was discovered in 2000 B.C
Sources of SO
Sulfur dioxide was first used in wine making when the Romans discovered that if you burn candles made of sulfur inside empty wine vessels it would keep them fresh and prevent them gaining a vinegar smell.
Most of the sulfur dioxide released into the environment comes from electric utilities, especially those that burn coal. Some other sources of sulfur dioxide include petroleum refineries, cement manufacturing, paper pulp manufacturing and trains, large ships, and some non-road diesel equipment currently burn high sulfur fuel and release sulfur dioxide into the air. In nature, volcanic eruptions can release sulfur dioxide into the air.
99% of sulfur dioxide pollutions comes from humans.
Most of the sulfur dioxide in the air comes from industrial activity.
It is common in cites with a lot of industrial activity.
Sulfur dioxides impact on atmosphere
Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the major precursors of acid rain, which has acidified soils, lakes and streams, accelerated corrosion of buildings and monuments, and reduced visibility. Sulfur dioxide also emits fine particulates of soot, which poses a significant health threat.
Sulfur dioxide and other chemicals can interfere with the chemical and UV detection of ozone.
In 1952, The Great Smog occurred when a high-pressure system parked itself over London and prevented the smoke coming from the chimney's from rising into the atmosphere. Because the smoke could not escape, it created a "pea-soup" consistency like black fog that covered a span of London 3o miles wide. During that 5 day span, The Great Smog resulted in the death of over 4,000 people from inhalation of sulfur dioxide released when the coal was burned.
It is estimated that from 2000 to 2006, the total SO2 emission in China increased by 53%, from 21.7 Tg to 33.2 Tg, at an annual growth rate of 7.3%.
Sulfur dioxide is the main source of acid rain.
Sulfur dioxide cause acute foliage in plants which cause the leafs or needles to turn a tan color, the effect is similar to bleach.
Sulfur dioxide irritates the skin and mucus membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. High concentrations of SO2 can cause inflammation and irritation of the respiratory system, particularly during heavy physical activity. The resulting symptoms may include pain when taking a deep breath, coughing, throat irritation, and breathing difficulties. High concentrations of SO2 can affect lung function, worsen asthma attacks, and aggravate existing heart disease in sensitive groups. This gas can also react with other chemicals in the air and convert to a small particle that can lodge in the lungs and cause similar health effects.
Human Effects
Sulfur emissions can be reduced in three different ways: by decreasing the sulfur content of the fuel used, by removing sulfur from the exhaust gas or by changing fuel, for example by starting to use natural gas.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently has a 1-hour and 3-hour standard for SO2 set at 75 parts per billion (ppb), 0.5 ppm respectively. These standards are subject to change as updated scientific information is obtained on the effects of this pollutant on human health.
Various restrictions have been and are being put in place to limit the amount released. With the installation of pollution control equipment at power plants along with reducing the average sulfur content in fuel has helped make large advances toward decreasing the emission of this pollutant. However, work is needed for continued maintenance and reduction of SO2.
Ways to Prevent Emission of SO2
Future Action Plans for SO2
There is still a lot to be done in trying to limit the amount of SO2 emitted into the air. If we cut back on burning coal and other resources that contain SO2, we can help stop these potentially deadly problems.
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