Methods to Reduce Air Pollution Essay

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Methods to Reduce Air Pollution

Air pollution is nothing new. Ever since the discovery of fire, less-than-desirable substances have been vented into the air. One of the first air-pollution regulations dates back to the fourteenth century, when King Edward I banned the burning of sea coal in lime kilns. U.S. air-pollution regulations have their roots in British Common Law. But regardless of those efforts, air pollution continues to be a serious local and world-wide problem. Pollution is the pressure within the air of one or more substances that are harmful to human health, welfare, animal or plant life, or property. In the past with air pollution we included mainly the outdoor pollutants, although in recent years this is not the case.
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All these particles are mainly products of combustion. The major sources include industrial processes, power plants that are both coal and oil-fired, residential heating, and transportation. But coal burning is the greatest source.
Table 1 below shows estimates of U.S. particulate emissions from various sources.

National U.S. Emissions Estimates-1990
(Million metric tons/year)

Highway 1.3 0.6 30.3
Aircraft 0.1 0 1.1
Rail&Sea 0 0.3 1.9
Off-Highway equipment 0.1 0.1 4.4

TOTAL 1.5 1 37.7

Stationary fuel combustion
Electric utilities 0.4 14.2 0.3
Indusrial furnaces 0.3 2.3 0.7
Commercial 0 0.4 0.1
Residential 1 0.3 6.4

TOTAL 1.7 17.2 7.5

Industrial processes 2.8 3.1 4.7

Solid waste disposal 0.3 0 1.7

Forest fires 1.1 0 8.1
Other burning 0.1 0 0.6
Misc. Organic solvents 0 0 0

TOTAL 1.2 0 8.7

OVERALL TOTAL 7.5 21.3 60.3

Only 13% of the total is generated by transportation. Industrial sources account for nearly three times as much as 37%. Fires account for just about as much particulate emissions as transportation. That amount is matched by combustion from sources, which include the generation of all heat and electricity.
When coal was the main source to generate energy, power plants and homes accounted for much greater
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