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Technical Q&A

How are air pollutants formed

April 26, 2024

Pollutants in the air come from a variety of sources, both naturally occurring and man-made. The following are the main forms of pollutants in the air:

1. Natural sources:

Volcanic eruptions: Erupting volcanoes release large amounts of gases and particles, including sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and volcanic ash.

Wildfires: Wildfires and forest fires produce large amounts of smoke and particulate matter, such as PM2.5 and PM10.

Dust storm: Wind blows dust on the ground, creating dust storms. These dust particles become air pollutants.

Plant emissions: Plants release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they grow, which react with nitrogen oxides in sunlight to form ozone.

2. Man-made sources

Industrial emissions: Exhaust from factories and manufacturing contains a variety of pollutants, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, VOCs, and particulate matter.

Vehicle exhaust: Exhaust from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles contains carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, VOCs and particulate matter.

Coal and oil: Domestic and commercial coal and oil heating and burning coal in power plants release sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and heavy metals.

Agricultural activities: The use of pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural production and the improper management of animal waste can produce air pollutants such as ammonia.

Landfills and incineration: Landfills and incinerators release methane, VOCs, and particulate matter.

3. Secondary pollutants:

Photochemical smog: Under sunlight, nitrogen oxides and VOCs react in the air to form ozone and photochemical smog.

Sulfuric acid and nitric acid: Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water vapor, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid, which can form acid rain.

The formation of air pollutants is a complex chemical and physical process that usually involves the interaction of multiple pollutants and multiple sources. Reducing air pollution requires concerted efforts by governments, businesses and the public to adopt effective pollution control measures and sustainable lifestyles.

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The main products developed by Wanyi technology: environmental air quality monitoring instrument, air environment fresh index monitoring system, negative ion detector, negative ion sensor, dust detector, gas detector, gas detection module, radiation detector, etc...

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