Improving air quality is important to prevent outdoor as well as indoor air pollution. There are multiple ways to reduce air pollution. Each technique has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will talk about five relevant innovations that can efficiently prevent air pollutants from damaging the environment and our health.
Scrubbers are pollution control devices that remove air pollutants from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, and hydrogen chloride. Basically, there are two types of scrubbers: dry scrubbers and wet scrubbers.
Wet scrubbers capture gases or particles from the air with the help of water or other liquid. There are various wet scrubbers that differ in their energy level. A spray tower is a type of low-energy wet scrubber that distributes liquid by passing the exhaust with sprayers through open vessels. When the exhaust passes through the device, the liquid either absorbs the target gases or picks up all the floating particles. On the other hand, a dry scrubber acts in a similar way as a liquid scrubber, except that instead of spraying liquid, they spray dry compounds into the flue streams, neutralizing the harmful gases before they reach the atmosphere.
Scrubbers are extremely useful instruments for pollution control because they prevent harmful air pollutants from harming the atmosphere and communities near industrial hubs such as water treatment facilities and power plants. Furthermore, these devices do not interrupt the manufacturing process, allowing industrial and economic activities to continue without an increase in air pollutants.
Air pollution is not simply a problem outside. Each year, nearly 3.8 million people face premature death as a result of interior air pollution caused by the combustion of kerosene or solid fuels in enclosed spaces, which causes particulate matter levels to rise to hazardous levels.
Cooking has become considerably more efficient as a result of improvements in stove design and innovation in alternative fuels, which have reduced the quantity of particulate matter generated in households. Fans, insulated combustion chambers, or secondary combustion can now be well equipped for biomass stoves to burn off any unused fuel and ventilate any pollutants that remain. Though we want to get rid of biomass stoves in the end, they are a useful stepping stone for middle-income or low-income countries without access to electricity or natural gas.
Heating, like cooking, pollutes the air within the home. Improved ventilation designs such as chimneys and stove hoods can effectively funnel out most of the indoor air pollutants. On the other hand, passive solar cooling and heating systems and solar water heaters reduce the need for the burning of solid fuels.
Vehicle exhaust is a major source of air pollution all over the world. Beginning in the 1970s, diesel or gasoline-powered automobiles were equipped with devices like catalytic converters, which catalyze a redox reaction to convert toxic air pollutants into less dangerous pollutants.
Nowadays, gasoline-powered vehicles usually come with a reduction-oxidation catalytic converter or a three-way catalytic converter. These devices function by exposing emissions to a catalyst, which provides the activation energy required for a chemical reaction, allowing carbon monoxide to be converted to carbon dioxide and also nitrogen oxide to carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Despite the fact that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, both CO2 and atmospheric nitrogen are significantly less toxic than nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. Therefore, catalytic converters are excellent tools for lowering the adverse effects of vehicular exhaust on the environment and human health.
There are some disadvantages to using catalytic converters. These devices may restrict exhaust flow, decreasing vehicle performance and fuel efficiency. Moreover, a warm-up phase exists for catalytic converters, during which time the cars emit an uncontrolled amount of air pollutants. Additionally, the manufacturing process of these converters pollutes the environment.
Air quality monitoring technologies indirectly cut emissions or remove pollution from the atmosphere. They are an important component of the air pollution management system. Certain pollution sources, such as power plants and factories, release many pollutants; on the other hand, certain pollution control methods regulate several pollutants. Multi-pollutant monitoring allows regulatory bodies to assure compliance with emission limitations for a variety of pollutants while also lowering the time and cost of ambient pollution monitoring.
Many of the materials we use on a daily basis, including cleaners, paints, sealants, adhesives, flooring, and furniture, emit VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which can accumulate if not ventilated properly. As a result of the growing concerns about the impacts of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, more building materials and consumer products are being produced as VOC-free or low-emitting.
The growing climate consciousness among people is a positive sign. If, with optimism, we can focus on the solutions and try to find more advanced technologies like those mentioned above, we will surely be able to mitigate air pollution to a great extent.
Also Read – Advantages of Environmentally Friendly Business