Lower Atmosphere Pollutants

Identify the main pollutants found in the lower atmosphere and their sources
  • Pollutant: A substance that has a deleterious effect on the natural environment.
  • There are a great number of pollutants in the troposphere, and these are derived primarily from:
    • The combustion of fuels in power stations and vehicles.
    • The smelting and purification of metals.
  • More specifically, the tropospheric pollutants and their sources include the following:
Carbon monoxideIncomplete combustion of fuels
Sulfur dioxide• Combustion of fuels containing sulfur impurities.
• Roasting of sulfide ores.
Nitrogen OxidesCombustion of fuels at high temperatures
Hydrocarbons• Unburnt fuel from vehicles
• Factories using solvents
Particulates• Incomplete combustion of fuels
• Dust storms and earthmoving
Lead• Combustion of leaded petrol
• Lead smelting
• Renovations of houses with lead paint
OzoneInteraction between sunlight, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides